Publisher and Chairwoman of the Guardian/Tribune media operations Eileen Carron listens to former prime minister Perry Christie at an evening social. Could ColinaImperial and its principals quietly taken control over the 100 year old Tribune as they have done over so many other companies?
BY: THE NORTHERN BAHAMAS REPORTER/BLACKBELT
Nassau, The Bahamas – A member of The Nassau Guardian Board of Directors have tendered his resignation at the 160 year old establishment, citing serious breaches in ethical practices by members of the Colina Group of Companies, the parent company of the newspaper. Professor Leon Dash who joined the newspaper Board just after Colina’s acquisition of the Nassau Guardian, resigned in December and his resignation was accepted by The Guardian’s president, Anthony Ferguson.
Professor Dash, who serves as The Swanland Chair Professor at the University of Illinois raised serious ethical questions about the practices at The Nassau Guardian. Said Dash, “The Board does not know what is happening with the company, meetings continue to be cancelled, nobody on the Board appears to know how the company is being run. It is just unreal.”
On July 25th last year, The Nassau Guardian carried a headline titled, “Major Merger” with a photo of The Tribune’s Robert Carron and Guardian owner Emanuel Alexiou announcing a ‘Joint Operating Agreement’ (JOA) by both newspapers. The article noted that Eileen Dupuch-Carron was appointed Chairwoman and Publisher of the JOA whilst Alexiou served as Deputy Chair. Robert Carron was appointed President of the Tribune and Anthony Ferguson, President of the Guardian, with Carron also serving as Chief Operating Officer for both companies according to the newspaper.
However, what is interesting in all of this ‘public relations show’ was the fact that all Board Members of The Nassau Guardian were not informed of any deal with The Tribune. “I asked Board Members if what was being announced was in fact so, having not even discussed such a deal at any Board Meeting,” Prof. Dash said. “I was told that the entire article published in the Guardian was a misprint and a retraction would follow. It never happened,” Professor Dash said. “What is more interesting is that I have asked the senior partners of The Board to provide us with a copy of this JOA agreement and later, we on the board found out that no such thing existed. No one knew about it if it did exist; we never saw a copy of it; and with repeated requests, we were never provided with one.”
Professor Dash continued by saying, “This is incredible, here is a Board of a 160 year old establishment, with responsibility to shareholders and entrusted with huge assets; with responsibly to oversee staff pension funds and bank accounts and The Board that oversees the operations of the company cannot get answers on anything happening with the company?” Professor Dash also noted that he became extremely concerned with the direction of the company when he found out that former Publisher, Charles Carter, had resigned from the company without The Board knowing a single thing about this move.
“Charles was asked to tender his resignation I learned later, however The Board was never informed of his move out of the company. This is not how a Board functions. A Board has fiduciary responsibility for a company and for the Board of the Nassau Guardian to be stripped in this way is amazing.” The newspaper, since the unclear JOA, has seen the departure of Alison Bethel the Managing Editor and the firing of its Circulation Manager. And in the months prior to the JOA, a spate of firings was carried out in every department at the struggling newspaper.
Prof. Dash also said, “The last straw for me at the company was when I saw that Board Meetings were repeatedly cancelled, meeting after meeting were cancelled and answers were not forthcoming. That was when I decided that that was it for me.”
Obviously by way of this merger, the owners of both The Tribune and The Guardian have finally shown their true colors and are thinking more about strengthening the power of their political Party (FNM), than about being a responsible, but separate, plank of the Fourth Estate. No longer is it about ‘swearing not to bow to the dogmas of no master,’ because Eileen Carron has decided that she will become the master and demand that everyone bows to her. It is hoped that Hubert Ingraham is aware of that, because he’s given over print and media communications, lock, stock and barrel to one of the evilest human beings that has ever been born. But then again, he should know that because he has been working with her since the early 1980’s!
Editor’s note: The JOA has recently hired new talents out of Jones Communication Ltd. to startup of a new radio station in the Guardian, depleting the Jones’ of talents at its Love97FM station. Colina has hired already the team of announcers once at Love97FM, members of Jones’ editorial staff and the Marketing VP out of Jones Communication. ColinaImperial, according to a source, intends to close Jones Communications for their attacks on the company [ColinaImperial] in the past.