Dear Minister Nicholas and Erna-Mae: Do not put Burford back on TV


Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to the Minister of Information, Melford Nicholas; and the General Manager of ABS, Erna-Mae Brathwaite. I am humbly asking you to publish it on your website.

Now that the quarantine period is coming to an end for the employees of ABS after one of them tested positive for coronavirus, I would like it to be placed on record that I don’t want to see Garfield Burford back on my television screen.

Over the last several years, we were made to believe that there is no Antigua-born person with the skill and capability to present the evening news. We know that this is not the case and there are local personalities who can do the job.

But this was made even more compelling with the superb job done by R. Anderson Edgehill since Burford has been placed in isolation.

I do not wish to see Burford back on my television screen. His voice is jarring and, frankly, I am tired of the theatrics. Burford is just too full of himself and he is difficult to watch and even more difficult to listen to.

If Burford was brought in to provide training and development for the local talent and after all these years he has not been able to bring anyone up to an acceptable level to anchor the news, then he has FAILED.

I am not saying that Burford is not a great journalist or media professional, but please, if his services are still required at ABS, let him do whatever he has to do in the background.

Please keep Mr. Edghill as the evening news anchor. A word to the wise is sufficient.

I am putting you all on notice that if the ballot box is what it will have to take to get Burford off our local ABS TV and for us to have a local anchor, then by all means keep him there.

An Antiguan with Burford Fatigue

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  1. Wow… antiguans just won’t stop hating foreigners … I did not even know the man was not antiguan. Yall always bitter because foreigners come to your country and progress because of their individual qualities plus knowledge and degrees that they possess while yall just stay and depend on your parents plus people man.
    Get out of that damnnn hateful zone… its 20202 gosh..

  2. Tur ur dam tv off if u nuh wah see him r hear his voice…. Who the hell post ur letter stupid… Its clear that the family member of edghill write this stupidness cause of jealousy, i dnt see the fuss when the job is being done….

  3. @Sense. Putting Antigua first first my a$$. Nobody more hateful and crab minded than y’all same one. I hate antiguans also. Bout Antiguans first. Blasted un-educated, jumble crab! -_-

  4. Let’s be clear. A Jamaican could never present local news in Trinidad. A Guyanese could never be the main local news anchor in Jamaica. The city would bun down.

      • Stronger my tail! it hasnt happen yet with over two decades of am open door policy to every ‘raps, craps and bunny’. As a matter of fact, St Kitts has shown us how far to the bottom we are racing. I have an experiment for you. Go around Antigua looking for the poorest children and take them to your house to live among your own children. Of course you wont do that because you love them too much to bring anyone to make their lives more difficult. Why cant Antiguans have that same love for their country and country men?

    • Shut your face! we have had several other Caribbean nationals anchoring news in ja Currently Janella Precius is one of the main tv news anchor in Ja. y’all dont know bout Jamaica

  5. @ Caribbean National you sound like your not from here and if that is the case, if you hate Antiguans so much move ur ass out of Antigua simple. talk bout uneducated some yall come here with fake documents and act like yall have the most degrees. give me a damn break!

  6. oh please! Was this penned by the same “concerned” person who wrote the other letters PRETENDING to care about the employees, but obviously had a personal gripe with the GM?

    Mr. Burford is a competent journalist and I welcome his contributions and that of all other journalists and staff members to ABS. Thank you Mr. Burford. Haterz fall back.

    • Wait,

      Burford didn’t get two weeks airtime for his annoying highfalutin extraness. And nobody died as a result??? Sounds like news to me.

      Viewers have a right to make comments and suggestions and say if they feel over saturated by one grating person.

      Well in civilised countries they do. That could get you blocked by ABS.

  7. The author who penned this letter should be ashame of themselves…. It is quite evident that Mr. Belford has improved journalism at ABS. His knowledge, eloquence & experience has taken ABS to another level. It is time that we get away from the small mind mentality and disist in targeting the messenger but focus more on the quality of the message & how the message is disseminated. I am not discrediting the others but clearly, the blind can see that Mr. Belford is certainly in a class by himself….. He definitely has alot to offer… Perhaps the authorities should ensure that his skills is definitely shared with his colleagues.

    • Xtra Xtra read all about it. Mr. Burford has done what my mom always warned me against – overstaying your welcome. He had a role and he has played it. He can now move on. Most small caribbean countries don’t have non nationals anchoring, no matter how good they are. Even when I listen to omg, I smh. I do like to hear k.joseph so if we can get a few more k.josephs I would be happy. A.Edgehill and J.Smith are good too. Sometimes if we come correct and simply engage persons in a meaningful way, they do right by us all.

      • From the Sidelines:The Insider.You had that same right to respond.
        This is a free society.Where everyone has a right to express themselves,freely.Where no one is afraid to speak out.
        Why they should not have publish this letter.What ever is going on at ABS.That is not the fault of Burford.There needs to be policies and procedures in place for all to follow.To include all members of Management and Staff.Those policies and procedures must be followed to the letter.If you as a Manager allows any of those things to be breached without a warning given.Then it would be your weak leadership that allows the organization to run amok.I am giving my opinion.As a bottle washer/dishwasher.Burford is not the problem.Put the blame on his “terms of employment” at ABS.It was not given to him by himself.Someone in a higher position of Governance gave him that responsibility.

        • Freedom of speech? Why is it that some of my comments are not always published? Give e a break. Editors pick and chose what will be published and what not and I can question the editors’ judgement in publishing this letter that is not Newsworthy since the name of this website is ANR, Antigua News Room.
          Poor editorial skills if you ask me.

    • Just like some others over port, customs etc, the locals will NEVER be ready to take over and they will hold those positions forever.
      Decades ago as a student in Barbados, a graduate student friend of mine saw and applied for a job. He was told we will give you this job but only until a Bajan applied. Why even in Antigua, Antiguans must always get the sh..ty end of the stick? How can you all be comfortable with that?

  8. Mr. Garfield Burford is the best TV Anchor in the CARIBBEAN. Mr. Burford is a Man of IMPECCABLE Reputation. The Person Who penned this letter has a personal GRIPE. Looking forward to seeing Mr.Garfield Burford and The ABS team very soon.
    Also looking forward to seeing Mr. JOEL RAYNE the Sports Anchor. Missed you Guys.

    • Well said! As soon as you start to do great, people grudge you because of your natural talent and God-given ability.

    • Are you his brother or something? Mr. Burford is a good anchor, but not the best in the CARIBBEAN by any means. Something is wrong over there. Have you noticed how quickly they get rid of anchors? Who is the REAL boss oved there….Melford or Ms. Erna Mae? The quality of broadcasting at ABS has improved in recent years, and Burford has something to do with that, but WHY WHY WHY are they constantly pushing out other anchors and co-workers, some of whom were better than Mr. Burford by far?????

    • Well said! Looking forward to seeing Mr. Burford and the rest of the night crew very soon!

      Cheers to Mr. Burford and the rest of ABS team!

    Mr. Garfield Burford is one of the BEST Journalists in the Caribbean. Mr. Burford is very PROFESSIONAL. Hoping the ABS TEAM will be back soon. Praying for you Guys.

  10. Thank you. My sentiments exactly. Keep up the GREAT WORK Mr. Burford. “People don’t throw stones at an empty mango tree” . It is because of your EXCELLENCE why this undercover badminded human being is choosing to feel threatened and hence resort to unwarranted attacks.

    As an Antiguan and Barbudan, I tip my hat to you sir. Keep up the QUALITY WORK.

  11. Why all this accolade for Mr. Burford? He wants the job and will do anything his masters want to keep it. On analyzing the last budget, he said Antigua had a surplus when in fact there was a huge deficit. All he did was move the debt obligations below his so-called surplus. Does he ever ask any serious questions at those post cabinet news briefings?

  12. So we are becoming like Observer website now. If you do not like what the blogger writes you just do not post it. What you call that freedom of speech? Only your speech

  13. For all those who have commented so far….do you believe in God? When God come for his world, he don’t care about your color or background…it is all about the life we live here on earth..the Bible said that we should love our neighbors as thyself…why do we love to tear each other down…we are all one people….United we stand and divided we fall…..I appreciate whoever read the news and they all do a job. I know for sure that I couldn’t do it, so thank you to the entire ABS staff.

  14. When someone decided to impune another one character, they should not be allowed to post an open letter and hiding their identity. This medium should not let anyone damage the reputation of their site. Unacceptable.

  15. Watching ABS news tonight and Ercil Charles Jr has jumped to the head of the line. His diction and clarity were on point and very professional, in the mold of Mr Burford. My top 3 are Ercil Charles Jr, Alajandra Robinson and Shermaine Jeremy.



  18. Why oh why are we so ready to press the insularity button and spew hateful things simply because someone expresses an opinion, widely shared, promoting the idea of tapping the wealth from the local source as a priority? Perhaps the author of the article is simply frustrated with the practice of rejecting the local produce in favor of foreign, or promoting the foreign at the expense of the local. In reality, this seems to be the mindset of most of us. We see this played out in our music, our cuisine, our speech, our dress, our pastimes even our choice of spouses! Yes, perhaps the author was a bit abrasive, in my opinion, but s(he) was on point. Antigua has produced some excellent born and bred newscasters, anchors and journalists. Antiguans and Barbudans know that. Somewhere along the line it was perceived that standards had gone to the dogs and so, after 2014 ABS invited or rather hired Burford to train local enthusiasts with a view to producing qualified, professional news men and women. He has obviously failed and has only succeeded in manipulating his way to being the poster boy for the government-run broadcasting services. Since he has failed to do that for which he was hired, then he should be repatriated and another, more effective strategy arrived at.
    Antigua is one tiny island with a huge immigrant population so observations such those highlighted in the letter to ABS Management and the Minister will inevitably draw the ire of these non-nationals who would stop at nothing to belittle and deride concerned nationals. To these people I say “Plug your ears and just be grateful to and respectful of the local citizenry who are willing to share but never to be sidelined in the land of their birth.”

  19. The EC dollar by far out value the Jamaican dollar. It could be a motivation to hang on at ABS.

    One thing that I do not agree with is the fact that government jobs can be filled by non citizens. To me that shouldn’t be so. Government jobs should have a qualification that you are a born citizen of the state or you are a citizen through naturalization.

    Mr. Burford you are a good presenter of the news. Terry Andrew need some polishing up. He’ll get there. Invest in your human resource capital. Then you would not need outsiders!

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