Staff cuts at Observer Newsco

58

Newsco, owners of the Daily Observer and Observer Radio is laying off staff.

A company source told Antigua News Room that approximately seven staff, mainly from the news department had their last day on Friday.

The company has also warned of more cuts as its financial position cannot support the payroll.

We reached out to Observer for a comment which they did not provide.

Newsco, now managed  Alrgernon Serpent Watts and Dave Lester Payne continues to struggle financially, our source said.

The company changed hands from the Observer Publications and the Observer Media Group in December 2018 and resumed operations under Newsco in 2019.

Over that time, the company has struggled to maintain its operations which were already downsized after Observer closed.

Our source says the company has not been meeting its revenue projects as advertising revenue declined due to several factors.

Although the Daily Observer is no longer in print, an e-version of the paper is produced daily. The radio still maintains its regular programming.

In the last few months, questions were raised about the independence of the media house after two of its radio hosts; Frans De Freitas and Watts announced their candidacy for the main opposition United Progressive Party. The company stands by the independence of its reporting despite this.

 

More on this later.

 

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58 COMMENTS

  1. I was wondering when this would happen? Seemed like a sure thing to happen.

    It would have made sense to adopt a different business model than what previously obtained which proved to be unsustainable.

    Suggestions:
    Use your strength. Do a SWOT analysis. The most popular radio station on island?
    All positions should be filled by volunteers.

    The Station manager and two technicians only paid position. That manager is also the news editor.

    You can get a cadre of news readers from UWI Five Island Campus, State College, and Secondary Schools.

    Negotiate commission from telephone networks for calls made to the station.

    Lower the cost of advertising.

    Re brand the station and make it less aligned to any political party. Independent should mean independent.

    Knight, Darren, and Paul are liabilities they a lowering the station’s potential to increase revenue. No gain in supporting friends over sound business decision.

      • @ BtBfBV
        I know of a successful company that has more than 5000 volunteers. And they have several branches in different parts of the world?

        Well run company all on volunteerism.

        What is the pie in the sky?

    • @Melchisedec. Nice try, but sometimes it’s just too late. “Too late too late shall be the cry when Jesus of Nazareth has already passed by”.

    • @Melchisedec your meaning of independent is to drop your draws to the 1 percenters and be sodomized. The day NewsCo become a prostitute to any business class or politicans like you guys is the day hell opens and the loyal supporters should ask back for their monies.

      • @ Knight
        Independent means at least in my opinion
        1 Report things the way they are without any over or under tones, no adjectives just the way it is.
        2 Have balance shows without bias to any political persuasion.

        Playing party songs without getting aid to do so is not independent unless you play party songs relating to all the different parties.

        DLP’s program is a good one he interviews all the political elements and he allows them to speak uninterrupted which gives the listener an opportunity to decide unpersuaded. No agenda

    • What happened to the 562 laid off LIAT workers. Is LIAT back in the air.Gaston Browne,your TAP DAWG said LIAT would be back in the skies by the 9th November,2020.I do believe,pigs would fly before LIAT.

    • What are Pointe FM and Point Express? Never heard of them.Never listened to them either.I have been listening to one Radio Station in Antigua and Barbuda for over 15 years now.That is Observer Radio.Now known as NEWSCO -Observer Radio-91.1 FM.

  2. I knew this was coming. Observer Radio lost its INDEPENDENCE . SERPENT and DAVE need to attract Proper INVESTORS. You cannot operate a Radio station with Someone like KNIGHT cussing every night and expect to attract Long term Customers. Knight , Paul Quinn and Franz should be FIRED. The radio station needs ptopet PROGRAMMING. More to come.

    • Not sure why MISSA KNIGHT keep cussing and insulting anyone who has a different view to his. After all he publicly declared on said radio station that an Antigua and Barbuda passport is of no value to him because he has his AMERICAN passport. His loyalty is to Trump and the country where black males are killed by the police for being black.

      Where is Byron Derrick?

      • @Hypocrisy remember Trump has been fired by the Americans so MISSA KNIGHT loyalty is now with Joe and Kamala😂😂😂

    • @J.P CARNY you can’t fire who you never hire. Knight can’t be hired or fired, so call Serpent and Dave let them move me. You Labourites are as dump as they come. Go and ask the top dawg why Social Security was at the ghetto radio station.

      • @KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR

        KNIGHT ..That is the problem. KNIGHT you have failed the Radio Station and People of Antigua. You are not capable of having a PROPER DISCUSSION. Knight you are the FAILED EXPERIMENT. Now You are eating your own words. KARMA is a BITCH.

  3. 1). Last in, first out. Axe that snobby Editor who was responsible for a major faux pas printed in your paper a few months ago

    2). Perhaps serpant needs more time to focus on his political career

    3). Winston Derrick must be rolling over in his grave.

    4). At no point was Observer ever independent.

  4. Who will now donate funds to Newsco when they are an arm to the lame UPP.

    Crusader now Progressive has financial challenges and OMG join that situation, how did that make sense? Eeeeeeeeennnnnn?

    • Without a VISION the people perish.

      If as an “independent” entity your sole reason for existing is to attack and undermined a certain political party, instead of TRULY striving to be independent, then this is what happens. Neither the UPP or its aligned media are visionary.

  5. Take my word. Mr. KNIGHT is a liability. He is crass and rude abd doesn’t possess the ability to reason rationally without denigrating people who are both potential sponsors and voters. He will harm the UPP prospects of being elected as they have now become the de facto mouthpiece of the UPP… Then again with the Asot Michael alliance he may be able to bankroll them for a short period as theh sell their souls… and also those middle eastern businessmen whose names they refuse to call…

  6. @ Spar Par
    You are really on to something. Follow your nose, keep your eyes open and value your freedom of speech.

  7. Fire ALL the top people and reorganize as a truly independent entity, not aligned to any political party or offshoot. Otherwise the whole thing will collapse. Most people now listen to Pointe FM anyway.

  8. Now ASOT MICHAEL ..Serpent new found Friend could now bank roll Newsco. Also Charles Tabor could now step up to the plate and put His money where His mouth is…This is very difficult times for any business. Just hope that the Staff got Their SEVERENCE. Hope that Newsco can REGROUP and come back with much better PROGRAMMING.

  9. I am disappointed ANR come on add Lovell to this article, the top dawg poodles would be out in their numbers. ANR let me give you a big story as your focus is on the media, the ghetto radio station had a visit from Social Security for none payment, a disgruntled manager a flip floop pancake called in SS because them demote he for a female ghetto gal. Imagine a manage calling SS on the top dawg ghetto station, now that is news. By the way Labourites you all should be happy a Serpent and Dave a manage Observer and not Knight because none of you all could set foot in the front door. The same station you all wanted to shut down, you all want to use now, well hell no. So count your lucky stars that people can hear the diatribe coming from the failed experiment. Let there be light! No body go run me! If it was up to Knight alone every show would be targeted to remove this failed experiment.

    • @ KNIGHT IN SHINING AROUR
      Please be nice for once. I know it is very hard because of your Character. You know Antiguans just like you Knight always have an opinion. You must learn to take the HIGH ROAD. There are too many Radio Stations IN aNTIGUA. iT IS VERY DIFFICULT to make a PROFIT. Observer must REBRAND. This format is not working. If Management do not take this serious closure will be next. It takes ALOT of cash to operate a business. Observer should DIVORCE from the UPP . UPP alignment hurt the Station. Take HEED Management.

  10. This is the result when Serpent get involved with POLITICS and also He is a Farmer. Serpent does NOT have any Budiness ACUMEN. He turns His back on the Radio Station and leave it for FRIENDS to manage. This is a BAD FORMULA. I believe CLOSURE is on the HORIZON.

  11. OBSERVER WOULD NOT BE CLOSED FOR A MOMENT IN TIME.ALL OF YOU NASTY DIRTY MINDED RED KOOL-AID DRINKERS.WOULD WANT TO SEE IT GO.THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.MARK YOU MY WORDS.THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.YOU LOUSY SETS OF PEOPLE.YOU ALL WANT NO OPPOSITIONS INNA ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA.ARE YOU TINK GASTON OWNS ANTIGUA.ARE YOU TINK. IT IS WILLED TO HIM AND HIS GANG OF MERRY MEN.WHEEL AND COME AGAIN.THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF ANTIGUANS AND BARBUDANS OUT OF WORK.
    EDITOR AT ANTIGUA NEWS ROOM:
    HOW THE HELL YOU ARE NOT RUNNING A STORY ON THOSE WORKERS.THEY HAVE BEEN ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE FOR SEVERAL MONTHS NOW.SO WHAT IF OBSERVER CUTS STAFF.THAT IS WHAT YOU DO IN BUSINESS.WHEN THE ECONOMY TANKED.ASK GASTON BROWNE.WHY IT TANKED ON HIS WATCH.OH,IT IS BECAUSE OF COVID-19. RIGHT!!!

      • Mmmmm:
        No worry about me and me blood pressure.Me good and very healthy.I take great care of my this temple,my body. I walk 5 miles every day and I do not eat fast foods and or junk foods.Thank God.

  12. Serpent looking to make money from politics! He don’t need radio station! All ALP supporters should stop giving adds to that racist station that try to down cry white Antiguan people! To Franz and Paul they should only be black people in Antigua. And Franz more white than most! Time for Observer to go! Antigua would be a better place

    • A radio station cutting staff gets 41 comments. Gaston must be doing an exceptional job at managing this country.
      Pensioners must be paid on time. The water issue must be a thing of the past. The auto pilot system for the Barbuda airways must have been located. 1 of the 15 projects promised by the PM must be starting. the minister of education and his dimwit of a permanent secretary sorted out the ebooks. The program didnt cost 15 million for empty tablets.

      Observer will be fine. Its not going anywhere. After all what are we going to listen Pointe FM and ZDK?

      Dave needs to be front and centre. I see serpy’s arrogance rubbing off on knight. I guess its a thing for radio personalities to use their fame as a way to be rude and insulting and in serpant’s case condescending and inappropriate. A little proffesionalism would be nice.
      He was a bad chioce for the UPP ticket . His personality is more in line with the ruling party. Ask his friend kaseba thats another story

  13. Paul Quinn is as DAFT as they come. He knows nothing about Antigua. He’s been away for too long. Come off as an imported fresh water yankee and not a local person.

  14. @ CHARLES TABOR
    Haven’t heard you for a while . Hope you are OK. Let’s Us start a GO FUND ME for Observer Radio. Cannot afford to lose OBSERVER !!!!!!

  15. I used to listen to observer once upon a time but then it Titaniced. Then a certain captain salvaged it, put it back together with crazy glue, renamed/rebranded it and set sail on a journey to ‘neverland.’ It’s been running into iceberg after iceberg since. Don’t know the integrity of the crazy glue, but I heard it’s been taking in water from the onset. Will it sink, or will it stay afloat? I don’t know, I don’t know, maybe you can tell me or time will. Me hab on me life jacket floating in the distance.

  16. The sad thing is Knight thinks he is doing a good job?

    Paul is old pervert that the police should keep an eye on most things that comes from his mouth is perverted. He links everything to sex.

    Please understand this just like how Serpent, Franz, knight et al can have an opinion on what another says same way independent thinkers can listen and have their say.

    I see things as they are.

    • [email protected] Observer moves on while the top dawg and his poodles keep wetting their underwear. More fire to come Knight just a get started. Oh! ANR keep this story on the front page two day is not enough ……Wow a the longest I have seen a story stay on the front page, Lovers scorn is a hell of a thing.

    • @melchesidec you are so correct about paul and his perverted mind. Up to today he was at it again trying to make a coy sexual innuendo to what his co-host had said. Thankfully the cohost did not fall for the bait this time. What got me today was his ongoing criticism for Friars Hill road. In following up on his criticism that the road is not very smooth today he said there is too many markings. Now tell me if this man said he has lived in North America for the past umpteen years how can a simple two lane road markings dazzle his eyes when in America you have roadways with multiple lanes and hence multiple markings!!! Then again America is huge so i guess he resided in some deep rural area…who knows maybe even an Amish area.

  17. @melchesidec you are so correct about paul and his perverted mind. Up to today he was at it again trying to make a coy sexual innuendo to what his co-host had said. Thankfully the cohost did not fall for the bait this time. What got me today was his ongoing criticism for Friars Hill road. In following up on his criticism that the road is not very smooth today he said there is too many markings. Now tell me if this man said he has lived in North America for the past umpteen years how can a simple two lane road markings dazzle his eyes when in America you have roadways with multiple lanes and hence multiple markings!!! Then again America is huge so i guess he resided in some deep rural area…who knows maybe even an Amish area.

    • @ Just Saying
      Word of advice to you and your laboratories comrades.

      STOP LISTENING TO OBSERVER

      NOBODY GO MISS AH YOU.

      YOU HAVE POINTE FM AND ZDK.

      • @ Chups..and who will address the folly these clowns chat on radio on a day to day basis if i stop listen to that station?

  18. This is an industry for persons with deep pockets. The Derricks know why they got out. It’s not all that glitter is gold. Businesses do less advertisement on the conventional radio and tv. It’s all social media. Check the ads on this website. And by us visiting this website they draw more traffic and google will place more ads with them. And they will even get more if you click on the ad. Champion Footwear has a nice Puma sneaker for sale, need to check them out. I wonder if NewsCo did a feasibility report before they decided to buy the equipment from Observer Media Group. I mean Grenville Radio Ltd went through the same lows and had to cut staff and even change alliance of political party. Pointville Communications is being funded it seems like by someone with deep pockets, because the ads are lacking on their station as well. All talk shows with political undertone. And they will launch a tv station soon.

  19. So tell me again why were they raising funds just last year? Wasn’t it because they were going through financial difficulties? So why now it’s because Serpent and Franz running on UPP ticket? They surely didn’t even dream of running last year when they needed funds. Why now people want to make a connection.
    Well hear ya, aryou go tyad Fu see and hear Observer. They’re here to stay.

  20. Mr. Knight is the only radio personality who keeps the ABLP and Gaston Browne’s feet to the fire. Is that why all the attack? Without Mr. Knight arwe sarl. Everyone knows Pointless, ZDK, ABS are ABLP’s mouth pieces. Crusada which is UPP’s station na ready, and apart from Mr. Knight the rest of Observer ah play nice to be independent. Thank God for Mr. Knight, the only voice, only one fighting to enlighten the citizens about the ills of the ABLP. No wonder you koolaid drinkers want to see him gone. Well hear ya, Serpent done gone, and the day the only voice we have gone, Observer dead.

  21. Don’t know if this is true but Harney says he got their back. And Ryan also says he is committed to keep them in the air. So the deep pockets are there. Don’t worry guys.

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