Promising young Antiguan journalist Leon Norville resigns from ABS

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Leon Norville

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor,

ABS is really in a sad state of affairs as their employees with talent, vigour and notable potential opt to resign from the media house than continue to suffer through the growing pains of poor management.

Within that last month the organization has suffered with the resignation of two employees and trust me there is more staff members on the verge of taking their exit.

Earlier this month promising young media professional Leon Norville resigned from the organization after being employed by the media house just under four years.

As a current employee of the organization, I have watched Norville morph into a young man that is professional and has so much potential to be in the league of his senior peers but was always stifled under the thumbs of his managers.

I’ve always admired this young man’s professional approach to his job – from his personal deportment and attire to his on-air Prescence for the newscast, Norville always took pride in his craft. But working for a company that hand picks who they want to see go up the ladder because of their personal preference and not work ethic or some set metric within the organization is discouraging to staff so I wasn’t surprised to see Norville take his exit and now veteran broadcaster Andy Liburd.

What’s even more sad about the departure of these men is that management always wants to ensure they have the last say in determining the narrative and outlook for anyone who decides to have a voice or simply exit stage left.

When Norville resigned from ABS he was called in by management to have an “Exit Evaluation” where they scored this young man so poorly…As I said I’ve worked with this young man from time to time on assignments and in the general work environment and I could not believe it. A 2/5 for his professional appearance and Norville in my option is one of the best dressed male reporters to grace the halls of ABS. So it was all done in spite to break the young man’s spirit and was management’s final attempt to exert “their power” in a situation they had no control of because he had already resigned.

 

What’s even more sad is that just earlier this week in a meeting the organization indicated they had no immediate replacements to fill the shoes of the gentlemen that would have resigned, and the newsroom is now grossly understaff with just about five reporters carrying the weight of the department that once in its glory days was overflowing young, promising Antiguan media professionals.

 

Now, let me make this clear! I have no problems with Garfield Burford as head of the news department because he is good at what he does. What I have a problem with is the fact that this man since his arrival at ABS has forced his way into creating the narrative that there is nobody at ABS who is capable of doing the job.

 

From forcing veterans like Jack Matthew and Joel Rayne out of the sports spotlight to shine the light on himself and always jumping on major assignments to brand himself as the saving grace for ABS shows me that he is not there to help anyone else grow and hone their craft. It just about him.

Instead of focusing on the real issues plaguing his newsroom staff like continual training and development, pushing for the use of up-to-date equipment so they can get the job done efficiently, even the simple task of putting out their month-to-month work schedule in a timely manner are things that have fallen to the ground because he’s so “busy” ensuring he’s on every talk show, newscast, interview and sports commentary.

So, it’s no surprise that we continue to see staff resign from the media entity because there is literally no room for growth and development and the conditions and management practices that staff are forced to work on isn’t healthy for one minute. Let’s not even get started on the outstanding overtime and holiday pay we have been fighting for since God knows how long!

Leon Norville is young and the world of opportunity awaits him out there, since his arrival at the station in 2017, we (at ABS and the nation at large) have seen him grow and make his mark in the industry. The sky is the limit young man and as much as you loved your job your mental health and you comes first over everything. Andy Liburd you have made your mark and you have your own path to tread now. We at ABS are proud to have worked alongside these young men and your contribution to the station and the media landscape in Antigua and Barbuda have not gone unnoticed. Your best is yet to come! Believe that!

 

Current Employee

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Get a box of match and break one, -simple- . Take that same box of match and try to break them all – you cant- . Every staff member is a match.

    • Hi Ms Lawrence, this is Vernon Whyte, your associate since ZDK.
      Eeasier said than done. When ONE IS in a meeting and are asked to air your views and ONE says ‘All is well”, then have a meeting after the meeting to vent, it is blood curdling.
      food for thought.

  2. There is usually an exit interview where the employee returns keys etc. and separate, but never an exit evaluation. This creates a bias outcome and should be removed from his file. There seem to be an issue with poor management, morale and lack of leadership at ABS. Employees are not children to be controlled and muzzled. It’s obvious that workplace norms are toxic at ABS, and the station need new leadership intervention to boost morale.

  3. I guess ABS staff has to just wait for the offenders to (depart). Or for them to lose what they believe to be their political covering.

    One Minister has been cut down so far. Maybe more will have to have their chip forcefully removed from their shoulder.

    What about SHARON TASWELL? Why did she also have to run twice?? What kinda “power” over at ABS. Is it dark?
    Do we need prayer and fasting? An exorcism to remove evil?
    Nobody at all can say tap treat staff except your clique, like crap? Have compassion and respect as management.

    Send over Samantha, nuh Gaston. She seems like she can handle the mess her colleagues make. And seems to bother give and get respect. This set doesn’t cut it at all. Send them on pre-retirement vacation or something man, you won’t be the first employer to have paid…someone to stay home. If it is for the welfare and health of the staff, do what must be done.

    • Send the manager away for a 6 month management technique course. Hopefully it will do something for the station. HELP!!!!

  4. WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ABOUT GARFIELD BURFORD? IS IT BECAUSE HE IS A “FOREIGNER?” OR IS IT BECAUSE HE IS A “NON-BELONGER?” OR BECAUSE HE “BANG WATA CUM YA?”SMH ………

    • Or maybe he is not a good manager. I didn’t see this employee mention anything about what you wrote about.

  5. It is a sad culture developing in many organizations that good workers are overlooked. Those in authority tend to execute a divide & rule game and grant promotions & other perks to their friends & cronies and to those who they can manipulate to their advantage. ABS radio station is not the only organisation that is making one step forward and simultaneously making several steps backward…… The authorities need to realize that they need to give Jack his jacket if it is surely due to him regardless who that person is. They also need to realize that a person who is blessed with natural ability will always have doors open for them…

  6. Because of poor management we are losing all our great workers ..professionals. Gaston you are apart of the problem because you believe everything enrna Mae tells you , she doesn’t treat staff well and that’s why staff are leaving .

  7. Not because he is a foreigner, no. But because everyone can clearly see he’s trying to dominate everything. He’s good at his job but for goodness sake, tone down and allow others to do their part
    Anyways Terry Andrew please don’t leave, we love you!

  8. Ironically there will be the recruitment of a new set of persons that Garfield will have to train so we are stuck with the alligator in the effect where the alligator catcher will always remain employed since that one alligator is so elusive to catch!!!!

  9. Yes, it is very much true that many local organizations, both in the public and private sector, are being managed by self-absorbed dictators and woe be unto any staff member who attempts to blow the whistle.

    Unfortunately, unlike the France Telecom case where the CEO was found guilty of moral harassment of his employees and his underlings where said to conduct “management by terror” resulting in several of his employees committing suicide, not a peep will be heard, everyone will their heads down, collect their salaries and continue to suffer in silence.

  10. Enough is enough. It’s time to do a thorough house cleaning, starting at the top. This is serious. Terry must not leave. He is needed. Bring back the Antigua born Sharon Miller-Tazewell and some of the other Antiguans who’ve been pushed out in the last few years. We don’t need to wait for UPP to come into power some time in the distant future, in order to get that place cleaned up. The ABLP government can get this cleaned up quickly. They know what to do. There are some good people up there at ABS, and some very good ones who’ve been ousted, one way or another. RECOGNIZE THE ANTIGUAN TALENT, please. I have no problem with Mr. Buford. Why he don’t get his Antigua citizenship???

  11. This young man is one of the best journalists they’ve got. What a loss. He i much loved by the viewers, and he’s the best dressed guy up there (sorry Buford, but you ain’t). Get him back and give him a raise.

  12. This Hostile Management style towards staff seem to be the norm in many government offices these days with the Generation from the sixties at the Helm. They don’t seem to understand the concept of the more comfortable your staff are both physically or psychologically, the more productive they would be. There is need for trust in management and trust in the staff for any department to function effectively.

  13. One thing employees should understand from early on. A work place is not a democratic istitution. Just like the police and the army. You receive orders and you execute them to the best of your ability. The sooner one uderstand that the less friction they will have with management. When the time come that you cannot follow management’s directive any longer, you leave. It is voluntary. You provide your labour and you are paid for it. When you want to call the shot, you start your own business.

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