Fired Guyana Chronicle General Manager was contracted to carry out political wishes
The now fired General Manager of the Guyana Chronicle was being paid more than GYD$624,000 monthly to, among other things, contractually carry out the wishes of the then political directorate.
Michael Gordon’s duties and responsibilities included “Keeping in place an effective organizational structure, support system and mechanisms that will ensure the organisation achieves its objectives as determined by the political directorate and translated in operational terms by the Board of Directors.”
Under the then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP)-led administration, not only the Board but the Chief Executive Officers – and in some cases the Editors-in-Chief- of the State media were required to meet with the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon.
The PPPC-led administration had often vehemently denied that the State Media had been subject to its political diktat.
In a document seen by Demerara Waves Online News, the then General Manager was indirectly responsible to Cabinet and the President who is the Minister of Information. “Planning the operations of the company involving both the management team and the non-management workers in order to achieve the company’s mission as approved by the Cabinet and the subject minister and circumscribed by the relevant rules and regulations of the Ministry of Finance.”
The government at the time had enjoyed confidence in Gordon, a former Georgetown Secretary for the PPP's Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) while he had served as Editor at the National Communications Network, the state-owned radio and television broadcaster.
Up to the time of his immediate dismissal by the new Board of Directors, Gordon’s gross salary was GYD$624,000. Fringe benefits included a monthly entertainment allowance of GYD$25,000 and cellular telephone, Internet, security and travelling allowances. The telephone allowance also provided for a corporate data plan.
In the area of security, Gordon could have opted for a 24-hour guard at his home or the installation of a security alarm system.
Gordon was also expected to ensure that the Guyana National Newspapers Limited’s (GNNL) daily and Sunday Chronicle reached the widest possible circulation and that the entity brought in revenue private, public and other undertakings.
Authorities hope that a rebranded Guyana Chronicle will result in an increase in its daily circulation from a current all-time low of below 3,000 copies.
Gordon and former Editor-in-Chief, Mark Ramotar were fired on December 2, 2015. Ramotar was demoted to Editor prior to his dismissal. Nigel Williams, former Editor-in-Chief of the pro-PPP Guyana Times, replaced Ramotar as Editor-in-Chief of the Guyana Chronicle prior to the appointment of the Board of Directors.