Friday 16th November, 2018-Approximately 60 employees of Observer Media Group will be unemployed on December 1st.
The management of OMG that operates The Daily Observer, Observer Radio and Hitz FM has informed its staff that the company will cease operations on November 30th, 2018.
It’s the end of an era for the company that was earlier this month granted an extension of time to remain in the building they currently occupy. Management was served notice by the joint liquidators of the Stanford Development Company dated 26th July, 2018 to vacate the building they had been occupying since 2012.
Plagued with financial issues and litigation, it has been a bumpy ride for Observer Media Group since its two founders, brothers Samuel ‘Fergie’ Derrick and Winston Derrick died, the latter in 2013.
In a staff meeting yesterday, the media entity’s management informed employees that their last day of operation will be 30th November. The printing staff will reportedly be severed on 19th November, 2018. A source revealed they were further informed that at the end of November, employees are expected to receive their full or partial severance packages.
During the month of January, Observer’s Chief Operating Officer announced that the estate of Samuel Fergie Derrick was offering for sale the majority of its shares in the two companies. The private placement was for 45,000 shares in each company, which represented 45% of all issued shares in the companies. However, the offer was short lived when the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission intervened, which resulted in the company removing the website created specifically for members of the public purchasing shares.
Among the reasons given for the intervention was OMG’s inability to publish its audited accounts, which made the offer illegal. A warning was also issued a day after by Georgia Derrick, the late Winston Derrick’s daughter cautioning the public not to purchase shares. Observer Media Group had reportedly failed to inform potential buyers of the risks involved in purchasing shares and the fact that they were not going to benefit from returns.
Observer Radio began broadcasting in 2001, following a Privy Council ruling. The Daily Observer Newspaper printed its final copy in August this year, moving to a free online edition for its many readers who previously paid a subscription fee.
Despite several cost cutting measures and putting up a fight for its survival, management at Observer Media Group has thrown in the towel and will close the doors of the once vibrant company.
There has been no statement yet from management on the decision made.