Friday, September 13, 2013

Milton Samuda resigns from media boards

From | 13 Sept 2013: Milton Samuda, Chairman of the Board of Television Jamaica and a member of the Board of Directors of Radio Jamaica Limited, has resigned from both positions.

This development followed Mr. Samuda's involvement in an incident in which he requested that a reporter working with the RJR Group hand over to him the tape recording of a pre-arranged interview with track and field stars Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.  The tape was erased and later an edited recording was supplied to TVJ.

Mr. Samuda, an attorney at law, was representing the two athletes who had recently tested positive for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Dumping Agency.

Below is the full statement by the RJR Group on Mr. Samuda's resignation:

Kingston. Jamaica. September 13, 2013. The RJR Communication Group has completed its investigation into issues arising from the participation of one of our reporters in an interview arranged with Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson and held at the offices of their attorneys, Samuda and Johnson, in which the Chairman of Television Jamaica, Milton Samuda is a partner and participated in the monitoring of the interview.
There was a departure from the arrangements for the interview which led to Mr. Samuda requesting and the reporter handing over to him the tape recording of the interview, whereupon the tape was erased and later an edited recording was supplied to TVJ.
Once the matter was disclosed to the management it became clear that issues of, apparent authority impacting editorial guidelines and journalistic practice and policy were contravened.
The company conducted a full investigation and the following are the key findings:
1. The pre-agreed conditions for the interview and departing from them have shown editorial and journalistic breaches for which the reporter has apologised, accepted responsibility and has also accepted disciplinary action.
 2. There were corporate governance issues and policy breaches which the Chairman of TVJ accepts.
 Mr. Samuda has advised that the investigation having been completed and he having absolutely no desire to see the names of RJR and TVJ, to which he is committed, called into question, he has resigned from the Boards of both entities.
Mr. Samuda served the Board of Radio Jamaica for seventeen (17) years and was Chairman of TVJ for thirteen (13) years, during which time his conduct was exemplary. We thank him for his more than one and a half decades of service and place on record that his decision to resign underscores the credibility and integrity of leadership which are hallmarks of these companies which he served. 2
The RJR Group has an enviable track record in leadership and good journalistic practices. We will continue to maintain the high standards which the public has come to expect of us.
In due course, the company will disclose the new appointments to its Boards of Directors.

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