The Big Issues Host Resigns After PM Browne Invitation Revoked My Management


POINTE XPRESS: A decision by the principals of the United Progressive Party aligned NewsCo Limited to revoke an invitation extended to Prime Minister Gaston Browne has ended with the resignation of the host of The Big Issues, Keiron Murdoch.

Observer Media announced early Saturday evening on its Facebook page that the prime minister would appear as a guest in the final segment of the programme to discuss the allegations of bribery levelled against him recently.

The planned appearance was short-lived, however, as just hours after, Murdoch announced his resignation on his personal Facebook page.

“I have resigned from my position as host and producer of The Big Issues. I thank Observer for the opportunities it has afforded me over the years,” his post read.

Apologising to his seven guests for his abrupt departure on Saturday evening, Murdoch explained that the developments that followed the announcement of Browne’s appearance created an untenable situation which would not allow him to continue working with NewsCo Limited.

“The station leadership resolved to cancel the interview which I had booked with the PM, and to announce this evening [Saturday] that it had been cancelled. I was unprepared to continue in the circumstances. Unfortunately, this leaves you in a bit of a quandary as to what will take place tomorrow.”

He continued, “I do sincerely apologize. I have left Observer with the script of tomorrow’s show mostly prepared, as well as all guest contact information. I imagine they will nominate someone to reach out to you directly. I will not be hosting tomorrow [Sunday], however, as I am no longer an employee.”

NewsCo’s managing director, Algernon Watts, is contesting the upcoming general election on the UPP’s ticket as the candidate for the constituency of St. George.

There has been no official word from the company following Murdoch’s resignation.

The Big Issues was not aired on Sunday.

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    • @ Not so common do u live under a rock? U r actually small minded. Have u ever seen the opposition on ABS? U know why? Cause the government do not allow alternative voices. So shut your mouth!

      • @Seriously. It seems that you too are incapable of seeing the big picture. Because the small minded ALP government Ministers block the opposition from ABS does not mean that it should be tit-for-tat. This is how children think. If everyone locally operated on this principal you are espousing, we would end up like Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe or Russia. An autocratic country where the citizenry live in fear daily. Thankfully, most people locally are not small-minded like you or the management of Observer.

        • @ not so common dont try that! U actually contradicting yourself by your point and u dont even realize it! This is the kind of mindset sad people like u have with your backward thinking. Its time news media stepup and stop allowing Alp dictate the narrative because the ALP intention is actually not to give a voice if u study their history. U talk about cuba etc without voice u clearly confuse because this is how we are heading if u allow Gaston and his gang to continue talk lies on top of lies!!

      • Seriously….are you saying if or when the U.P.P is elected
        It would be Tit for Tat…that the opposition would not be afforded time on the National Station..A.B.S?
        Thats why the country deserves a better alternative and NOT AN EXCHANGE as in 2004.

        • @ Not trump


  1. Serpent should have listened to Mr. Derrick and MICKEL BRANN

    “The Board of Observer needs to sit and think about the direction going forward. What happens during the campaign? What happens after the campaign if there is a winning candidate who is part of a winning party? Or what happens if you have a winning candidate who is part of a losing party, or losing candidate and losing party? All of those will have implications for the company,” Brann said.

    “Immediately, a clear and concise statement from Serpent indicating he is an owner and programme host, but HE WILL BE REMOVED FROM PROGRAMMING AND NEWSROOM DECISIONS, and be seen to be removed from these programming decisions, should happen. And then he should let his word be his bond.

    “The Daily Observer itself needs an editorial statement and they need to recommit to fair and balanced news process and they need to be seen to be doing that REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE OWNER SITS and what their editorial i.e. their opinion is,” Brann added.

    • Wow we have Evolved..
      GASTON RUN his GAME tight.
      This is ” GASTON Brown RAW…
      Bribery/ Placebo Pied Piper or
      Pinnochios its a ROAD show..
      Everyone is a Suspect
      Curry Favor Scandalous Acts
      Propaganda like Bribery
      Plans in hopes & Dreams
      People becomes Sheep to Sleep
      Wool covered Eyes Poised to Victimize..
      ” People Open Up your EYES..
      WHAT if. ???
      If it Fall
      It Will Fall on All ah WE.

    • @ HMMMMMMMM: What did Serpent do wrong in this instance? That Station is a Private Entity. It is not a Government Owned Entity like ABS Radio and TV. Even though ABS is financed by we the People. They have barred tax paying persons from coming onto those Stations. This guy resigned is not a big deal. One persons leaves another fills that void. That is how it works in the real world of business. I have asked persons to resign and or had persons terminated. I had persons in Management Positions on probations for 30 days to get their performances to a certain level. If they did not we have a meeting with Human Resources and be terminated.


  2. NEWSCO/Observer is hanging on by a thread as a profitable company. It is bare skin and bones at this point, and is not thriving because of, but IN SPITE OF the obviously retarded and/or intentionally ignorant management team/board of directors currently in place.

    The company attracts very little advertising (in comparison to its obvious potential), the people in charge are willing and empowered to sacrifice its growth for political risks, the handful of talent employed there appears fed up, disinterested and demotivated, and there is no obvious goal in sight (whether it be a certain figure for listenership/viewership, earning a certain figure for revenue, pivoting to more digital operations, or to be recognized outside of Antigua and Barbuda as a renowned media company etc).

    How can NEWSCO, a company that had the best head start in the race to success (compared to Pointe, Antigua Newsroom, Antigua News etc) – by virtue of the Observer brand already being ingrained into Antiguan and Barbudan culture – remain in the same place, or even worse than where it started?

    All that being said, the ‘handful of talent’ mentioned earlier includes the Big Issues host, and for a company that doesn’t attract ‘big name’ media talent, the management appears dumb enough to ostracize a young man that is likely to become renowned as such a talent in the future – talk about checkers and not chess.

    Without a doubt, The Big Issues, Observer AM, and the Good Morning JoJo shows are the best NEWSCO/Observer currently has to offer. With the exception of the sports show (at least to the naked eye), they’re all being affected by political interference, and not in a positive way. The producers/hosts appear to be pushing through regardless (tip of the hat to them), but there comes a time when enough is simply enough.

    Now, without even listing the vastly superior characteristics of the shows mentioned above (which should be obvious to even casual listeners), take a look at the rest of the station’s major programmes – those that are quite clearly not affected by any negative interference and are given free reign to ‘flourish’.

    DLP’s show: Archaic structure, small pool of ‘C-List’ guests rotated, interviews/discussions rarely of any national importance, regularly entertains ‘alleged’ perverts/deviants, host pretentious; not very knowledgeable about important matters, attracts very little advertising.

    Algernon’s show: Opposition politicking, geared toward gossip more so than important discourse, ‘slow’ co-hosts, host similarly pretentious, obviously not inviting to sensible/serious guests, little to no structure, attracts no advertising.

    Frank and Paul’s show: Very little structure, same opposition politicking, ‘lead’ host similarly pretentious and abrasive, not inviting to proper guests, discourse often of national importance but ‘watered down’ by politicking, attracts very little advertising.

    Knight’s show: No structure, opposition politicking, inviting to barely any guests of note, host not very smart; doesn’t solicit/incite intelligent discourse; has little-to-no critical thinking skills; literally mentions the Prime Minister or the ABLP in every other sentence, attracts no advertising.

    I will not even go any further with this rant, but to ask someone/some people out there who might read this, that have the necessary resources and vision – make the NEWSCO/Observer board a purchase offer they can’t refuse, so the company can finally get free from the clutches of the small-minded group that are holding it hostage, and it can start to fulfill its promise as a top-tier media company. Antigua and Barbuda would forever be in your debt.

    • @ G Dizzle, u clearly are a sad and boring person. Mr. Knight actually has many listeners both local and aboard and his content is diverse and well put together and very entertaining. Despite your criticism, I am sure u spend the nights listening to him so just shut up and enjoy the show!! Mr. Knight is well recieved by many people to the point when he is not on, people get depress and that certainly speaks volumes unlike any other radio show! and u can’t stop him and Joan!!

      • 1.Local and ‘aboard’
        2.People get ‘depress’
        Both you and Knight need a dictionary; I only hear his show on occasion, when my old mechanic neighbor (who is admittedly not the sharpest tool in the shed) listens to it aloud.

        If he has so many listeners, where are the ads? The other shows are inundated with ads, meaning they bring in more money. Anyone who has any sense is getting good rest at night, rather than listening to that show.

        Name one person of any significant note (besides UPP Leader Harold Lovell and Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle) that has actively participated in a discussion on Knight’s show?

        I am CERTAIN his show is not more well-received than the three I mentioned (Daren’s, JoJo and Nero’s and Kieron’s), not even VOP or Dave’s show.

        You are probably a fan of the show, and that in itself is sad, but don’t behave delusional as well.

        • @ G Dizzle dont worry about the gramatical error, you got the message and your attempts to offend me failed badly. For you to sit there with your long-winded criticism on good content shows you lack imagination. You are miserable and boring and u add no value to this discussion. So whilst you are being entertained via your neighbour radio, try to have an open mind and not be so judgmental. Mr. Knight show has many followers and exposes the lies and ideology of the ALP party. So if u dont like the show just shut up and go to bed before 9pm lmao….

    • I listened to Serpent with Franz and Paul…giving a poor excuse of the cancelation of the Sinday’s big issues.
      After talking about the non-interference policy of management in programming…he did interfered.
      After declaration of independence …he declared an affiliation with the UPP. To end his excuse..he declared that nobody coming on Observer to keep he out of office.
      This is the same Serpentine who said time and time again “Me na bak nun party…anybody catch m running or campaigning fu any political party…bang me with one Bull Bud…. ! Enough said.
      I’m not saying a man can’t have a change of heart…but you need to tell your listeners what brought about your change of heart… Remember you cuss Smartie Jr. for his change of heart.

      • To invite a person into your house to stab you is ludicrous.
        Keiron was insensitive. I am sure that they will make room for him at POINTE FM

    • @G Dizzle, NewsCo is not the only privately run radio station in Antigua that is with political interference. NewsCo, Pointe FM, ZDK, and Chet radio stations are the most popular radio stations and most of their radio programs are political base. Colin O’Neal and Bellview Height’s radio programs, on Pointe FM, are no different from Mr. Knigt, Paul, and Franz.
      Pointe FM and Chet Radio stations are getting all the government advertisements. Isn’t that conflict of interest since both radio stations are owned by ministers of government??

  3. BIG UP Mr. Murdoch, You are a Gentleman of HIGH MORALS and DIGNITY. I wish DARREN MATTHEW WARD would get some BALLS and stop behaving like a CRYBABY.
    Every Friday Darren would have DAMANI TABOR on His program to spew the same GARBAGE every Friday. Thumbs Down to Observer.

    Observer Management is made up of SERPENT , KNIGHT and DAVE LESTER PAYNE.
    KNIGHT announced that He was selling His shares in Observer. Observer News Team are afraid to comment.

    • CONGRATULATIONS to Serpent for cancelling the interview.
      The ALP stifled free media in ANTIGUA . OBSERVER had to go to the PRIVY COUNCIL to be allowed to be a media house.
      ABS is funded by the tax-payers yet the UPP is not allowed to be on state-funded media. Yet, there is silence.
      Gaston had said that the ABLP WAS BOYCOTTING OBSERVER until Max Hurst was reinstated in the morning slot that OBSERVER had graciously allotted to him.

      You have

  4. Until the Government allows the opposition parties exposure to ABS and other Gov. Run media houses, it is fair game they revoke the interview with the PM on observer platform. The interview will be bunch of lies anyway!!

  5. Come on, young man, GROW UP.
    Do you expect at the height of the electioneering that you would be doing the right thing by putting Gaston Browne on Observer Radio?
    Yes, it expands your resume, but think, for heaven’s sake.
    Your boss is the owner of the station. Did you consult with him about the sensitive nature of your intended plan?
    You know of the history between Gaston Browne and the Labour Party and the Observer media. You know the nature of the man you plan to put on air on Observer. Were you expecting him to answer your questions in a civil manner and abide by the terms of the interview?
    Did you think it was so great to interview the PM that you were prepared to give him a whole segment for himself on your show the Big Issues? To do what, LIE and try to walk back his poor conduct? Has he requested such a time to explain to the nation how their money is being spent and what sort of life he is promising them in the future. No sah!
    Couldn’t you see that Gaston Browne was caught in a very embarrassing situation from his money dispensing and did not expect it would have mushroomed so badly for him? Was it a feather in your cap to give him a mike to explain why he was disturbing the UPP event by sharing money and gyrating in the street? God knows, he has done it before.
    And this to me questions your naivety. Can you picture Pointe FM allowing Harold Lovell or any of his team a special slot on the air to explain why he said NAMCO was a bad move?
    Like I said, it is either that you are looking for ratings and have gone ahead of yourself, or you are the most politically naïve person I know.
    Read my lips – THE INTERVIEW WOULD HAVE GONE BADLY FOR YOU BECAUSE GASTON WOULD HAVE TAKEN OVER THE PROGRAMME. He would have tried to insult you if you become too probing. Check the records.
    Besides, you need to show some more loyalty to your employer. He is on the ticket opposing Gaston Browne and the Labour Party. You should show him more consideration than that. Gaston has been threatening to close down Observer. Have you thought of what would happen if he won again, or are you and some of the others there who are showing partiality to him not thinking about those thing?
    Observer at this stage is not an independent station, as you and others like to think. Not now.
    Gaston has about 13 media stations available to him, including the ones we the citizens pay to maintain. Stop being so schoolboyish and face political reality. This is not a school debate. This is real life.
    Management did the right thing to cancel the interview. You did the dumbest, childish thing by resigning.

    • He stood for what he thought was the right thing and rightfully so… Sometimes you just have to take a stand and he did… Who bex dead… He has his principles that government him, just as we all have ours…

    • @Grow up, Mr Murdoch -You know I agree that Murdoch needs to grow up, the problem is he brought the false story that OMG was independent. Though warned by others, including myself, he continued to beleive that OMG was a place where journalism came first. Suspect he has now learned he was seen as a mere toilet paper, in their efforts to get power. The interesting thing is the UPP continues to shoot itself in the foot. A prime oppertunity to put a camera on PM Browne and they (or their agents) run . Notice it was not PM Browne who ran from this media house, they instead like Lemmings, ran off a cliff

      • Tenman after the time when your dear friend invited you on the big issues to defend your cult ALP he never invited you back, because you did a poor job defending them.

        How come you and the other hypocrites, never said anything about only hearing government and their lackies on radio Moscow ABS, which is taxpayers funded with no opposition voices, but want to dictate to a private news media?

        • Ruler you are so lost. I have been invited back many times since, just have not had the time. By the way Murdoch was not the host when I first accepted the invitation. Was fun though, Lovell being pulled over the coals

      • @ Tenman Hughes: Where the heck have you been hiding? I believe that Gaston Browne should not be given free air time on OBSERVER RADIO.He wants to come on that Station,he pays. After all he has several airwaves to peddle his wares.You and all of those Gastonites stay to heck away from Observer.For Observer would be around now and forever.

  6. Bye, Bye Birdie!
    It’s ez to get your own radio station and become your own boss.
    It’s that simple.
    Another option is to go to pointe fm, abs, wtp stations where you are only allowed to speak pro-ABLP.
    Best of Luck.

  7. Grow up Murdoch. I take your point, however, I understand Mr. Murdoch’s position. I don’t know what went down between Management at Newsco, and .r. Murdock, the private face and conversation but canceling the gaston interview is tantamount to Management saying they are not confident in Mr. Murdoch handling gaston in an interview.

  8. If and when Gaston is ready to address his governance as Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Newsco(Observer Radio) should book him on the most popular listened to program.

    A prime time slot with “Knight at Night”. De hole an Antigua and Barbuda will be listening local, regional and International.

    Gaston you “Man” enough to face off with de real deal? No prepared questions. Spontaneous question and answer session. With a slot for Antiguans and Barbudans to call in with their own questions that need answering.

    The switch board go bruk dung!!!

    • Freetownson, knight is a weak ignorant potty mouth human who needs a hug from his mommy.

      He is catastrophic to Observer and upp

      • The listening public will disagree with you and his ratings speak for themselves. You can give him a bear hug maybe that will warm him up even more. Mizza Knight. Stay the course. Scoundrels can’t handle you.

  9. Joanne Massiah called it a long time ago

    DNA Responds To Observer Radio’s Decision To STIFLE FREE SPEECH

    “…having failed in their ongoing public bullying, intimidation and threats, Observer radio has decided to TRAMPLE ON FREE SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION…the HYPOCRISY is glaring and blinding!” Massiah continued, “it can now be officially confirmed that the Faithful Nationals, the Movement and Observer/NewsCo exist for one sole reason – to pursue their ill-fated mission to attempt to resuscitate a near COMATOSE UPP…will this unholy coalition exact the same punishment upon the youth of our country whose support they also failed to win?”

    the answer is YES to your question Joanne Massiah as evidenced by the BULLYING TACTICS perpetrated against Mr. Murdoch

  10. Joanne Massiah warned are you long time ago about dem.

    And in one fell swoop, the media outlet which touts itself as “THE ONLY INDEPENDENT MEDIA HOUSE in Antigua and Barbuda” has demonstrated that it IS FAR WORSE than its rivals which its condemns, criticizes and chastises day in, night in and day out, night out regarding their disregard for democratic principles and constitutional guarantees! Evidently, the Observer/NewsCo management and board members have shamelessly abandoned its stated motto, “Let there be Light”.


  11. CONGRATULATIONS to Serpent for cancelling the interview.
    The ALP stifled free media in ANTIGUA . OBSERVER had to go to the PRIVY COUNCIL to be allowed to be a media house.
    ABS is funded by the tax-payers yet the UPP is not allowed to be on state-funded media. Yet, there is silence.
    Gaston had said that the ABLP WAS BOYCOTTING OBSERVER until Max Hurst was reinstated in the morning slot that OBSERVER had graciously allotted to him.


  12. Here is some “BREAKING NEWS” for you. Gaston and his slate of Deplorables know through polling that they are lagging behind when it comes to the INDEPENDENT VOTERS. These voters do not listen to Pointe FM aka RumShop Radio. It’s Observer Radio they listen to.

    Gastonites will vote GALP no matter what! They can’t “eat” without retaining the majority in parliament.

    Now, the real question is;Who is the “INDEPENDENT “ voters are going to side with?That is the audience he is eager to reach.

    We all know what the issues are. No need to list here. Again, are you better off today than you were eight years ago?

  13. You know, of all persons working at Observer/NewsCo, I had not expected this action from Keiron. It shows that our young ones have more balls than the older ones. Daren did nothing when Serpent banned Max Hurst from appearing on his show. He was silent. Then lately we hear that Peter Wickham also was banned from coming on his program, and again he did not stand up out of principle. What that tells you of the man. A man that doesn’t stand on principles stands for nothing. The last time Gemma thought to be bold and put out a statement. Where is she now? And all these people have so much to say about ‘Press Freedom’ in this country. Give me a big break. Give me an aspirin. None of them has any moral authority to talk about Press Freedom and Free Speech. Cause the management they work for has shown its teeth. No Free Speech on his radio station. And to see Jacqui trying to justify that ABS is not free. Because their leader is not able to go on ABS. She damn well knows the procedure and policy of ABS. As long as it’s not election time, only the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament is granted such privileges. But they don’t want Pringle to go on ABS. They want to spotlight to be on Harold. Well sorry Harold is not an elected member. And the PM has never used ABS for political promotion. All ABS do is to provide the public with information as it relates to the governance of the country. Cabinet briefings. And from time-to-time interviews with certain Ministers on topics in the news. No ABLP Propaganda. Jacqui go spin and come again.

    • You and your other stooges have a dilemma to contend; on one hand, you gladly scrambled at the opportunity to bat on behalf of your leader and party as you were commanded and on the other; you are witnessing the desperation and the eventual fall of the dynasty of thieves. When your cheques stop coming, we will see how loyal you are.

    • @Sidelines: You are a DAMN LIAR.For Peter Wickham was not banned from Observer Radio.Go back and replay that statement made by Serpent in regards to Peter Wickham.Do not spread lies like your Siamese Twin,with that Hitler Stache.

      • I remember right before the 2004 election Serpent calling out the entire country to go down to the Prime Minister’s Office because Lester Bird is taking away all the files. Then he claims without any proof how the PM’s office was empty and that all the documents were missing. Little did he know or understand that documents were kept in the archive. He told plenty of lies then, but now you want to take his words over what everyone else has been saying. Give me an aspirin. Guys like that should not ever come anywhere close to our parliament let alone in government. They are bad representation for our country and our children in particular.

  14. 1.Firstly I will be voting for UPP in the upcoming General election

    2. Two wrongs does not make it right

    3. The issue of the PM giving out money in city west is a topic that observer have discussed many times over , so it’s only fair for the listening to hear from the other side. No one should be satisfied from hearing only one side of an issue

    • So sad. A precious vote wasted. Honestly, I don’t see any UPP candidate that deserves a vote. Which means that you just vote for a party no matter who it is. If Asot was on the ABLP ticket, I would advise them to vote for anyone else but Asot. Whether Labour Party or not. But looking at the slate of candidates that the UPP presents this election cycle vs. the ABLP candidates, even DNA has better candidates than them. Take for example, the young Lady Imhof. I would surely give her a chance against Turner. And certainly, better than Hariette.

  15. ABS welcomes the UPP via its DULY ELECTED LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, the Hon. Jamale Pringle. Anyone else pleading with ABS and/or purporting to be the DULY ELECTED Opposition Leader is an imposter!

    • As I said they are trying to sideline Pringle and spreading false information that ABS will not accommodate the UPP. They never want Pringle’s face out there. And Pringle is so stupid to let them take away the spotlight from him. The only elected member of the UPP in parliament. His Majesty Royal Opposition Leader.

  16. If Management allow Knight to continuously attack Darren Matthew Ward in this manner. Darren should QUIT Observer Radio. This not good for Observer IMAGE. Very bad for business. Shame on Knight. shame on Algernon n shame on Dave Lester Pain

  17. Charles Tabor February 28, 2021 At 7:56 am

    “The last time I checked I am still living in a democratic society where the right of free speech is enshrined in the Constitution. So a guest was on Observer that presented his views on the covid 19 virus that are different to the views that many of us hold. Now, please tell me what was wrong with that. Did Observer do something wrong. No. ALL IDEAS MUST CONTEND IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY AND THAT IS WHAT OBSERVER STANDS FOR.”

  18. “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.”

    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.

  19. A few words to the not so wise!
    1. If the “honorable” PM. Gaston Browne really wanted to explain himself he would have simply utilized his “more listened to and more popular” radio station.
    2. Serpent did and said the right thing, by announcing his well wishes to the host of the big issues and respecting his decision. I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. I would have acted in a similar manner.
    3. “Observer Radio Station” is the only station that I have listened to and have found to be balanced in its information broadcasting, even after the ALP openly declared that they were in pursuit of “Locking them down”. (Words made famous by Robin Harwood)
    That was the correct time for the OMG to band the entire ALP from entering the doors of the station.
    4. Serpent was in order again, when he suggested that anyone who works at the station, who has issues with his decision can also follow the lead.
    5. Now to the wise:
    The Observer Radio Station is the only station in Antigua and Barbuda that is about Truth and the well fair of the People of this nation.

    • He has explained it to his supporters and listeners to Pointe FM already. He was invited by Keiron to speak on the issue. As Keiron was trying to have a balance program. Which is fair and proper journalism.
      The rest of your comments are not worthy of a reply.

  20. @ Ras Smood

    That will never happen……Antiguans will always band together like before to upkeep and support this station and institution. We have done it before and will do it again.

    Antigua’s democracy is already under threat, what without the Observer, U USEFUL AND USELESS IDIOTS.

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