THE PUBLISHER NEWSPAPER IN LIMBO
Earlier plans that headed to the re-branding of The Publisher Newspaper by management have hit the snag due to inter-personal matters among others.
Attractive Mustapha sources have revealed the Newspaper has been put under hold at the moment with all workers communicated to stay home until further notice.
A deep source at the Company reveals, the inter-personal actions and dictatorship started as long as many months ago but was kept away from the public space.
It can also be mentioned on authority that, monthly salary all these periods has been delayed most often due to one person disadvantage to make available his contribution.
In a letter dated March 22, 2019 and signed by Halifax Ansah-Addo, Director and Shareholder of 3GH Consult as well as Editor of The Publisher Newspaper sighted by attractivemustapha.com details the tendencies and challenges that has spearheaded the media company in the past months.
BAN ON EDITORIALS
The letter sighted by Attractive Mustapha detailed how one Mr Obeng Manu, Director and Shareholder of 3GH Consult and worker at Despite Media specifically Peace FM called for a ban on writing editorials.
According to the letter, Mr Obeng single handedly called for the ban on writing editorials for the paper for reason of criticizing his side of government.
”You know in your heart and conscience that what ought to be done is for such decisions to be decided at an editorial conference even if it means a virtual meeting via technology as has been the style” the letter indicated.
SELLING OF COMPANY’S PRINTING MACHINE
The letter again detailed the possible attempt by Mr Obeng Manu to sell the company’s machine which according to available information was not bought by him as a person.
Our Sources at the Newspaper Company indicates all attempts to reach Mr Obeng in change of mind and actions towards the company proved futile.
According to Sources, he was not approachable for communication for better prospects and amendments for betterment of the Company.
Friday March 22, 2019.
To Yaw Obeng Manu;
Director, Shareholder, 3GH Consult.
For several months now, you have consistently imposed unilateral administrative and editorial decisions that have not been in the larger interest of 3GH Consult, your co shareholders and directors, and the brand positioning of THE PUBLISHER.
I am writing to you officially to draw your attention, once again, to these avoidable anomalies, and ask you to put an immediate stop to them because you simply cannot continue to be allowed to do things the wrong way especially when the outcome has an adverse effect on others.
These developments have resulted in an inappropriate administrative culture in the company, generated some misunderstanding among the owners and directors of the company and generally demoralized employees, thereby reducing output and productivity.
I, in my position as a Director and shareholder of the company, have raised objections and attempted to draw your attention to these continuous anomalies. The objections rather infuriated you and seem to have empowered your inappropriate behavior.
Your response to my objections was full of arrogance, scorn and disdain, as though you were responding to someone who has no right to raise questions.
Surprisingly, you have also declined all invitations to have a management meeting to dialogue and address these negative developments. Again, your response to invitations to the discussion table, when our co-director, Mr. Cephas Larbi, made the offer was snobbish.
The dialogue table is still open, whenever you change your mind and see reasons in having a meeting with your co-shareholders and directors over such a sensitive matter that affects the very heart of the company.
I was surprised you had the courage to inform me that you, Yaw Obeng Manu, established and financed THE PUBLISHER for seven years and then invited me as a partner and without taking a cedi from me, you gave me 33 percent shares.
This is one of the falsehoods about THE PUBLISHER in the public domain but for you to have had the courage to repeat such a false claim is strange.
For the records, THE PUBLISHER was originally established by three persons; myself, owning 40 percent shares, you Yaw Obeng Manu owning 40 percent shares and Kofi Baah Agyepong owning 20 percent shares.
A simple check from the Registrar General’s Department on the directors of Modern Communications, owners of THE PUBLISHER would remind you of these verifiable facts. Kofi Agyepong is also in a position to remind you of these facts.
The newspaper’s name, “THE PUBLISHER” and tag line, “Every Side, Every Angle”, were coined and created by me. Then I hired and paid a graphic designer to create the masthead of the paper.
Funds for financing and running the paper, when it was established, were polled from several sources contacted by you, Kofi Agyepong and I, in addition to our personal contributions.
I was not only a shareholder and director; I worked on content as well for many, many years and there are hundreds of email correspondence to prove I was working on the content of the paper all these years.
Even when our mutual friend, Alex Afenyo-Markin helped us with an office space at the Ghana International Trade Fair Center, the office assistant was on my payroll for years until we lost that space.
I was working at the DAILY GUIDE by then and because the two papers were in competition in same market space, I had to be in the background for you to front the paper. You were working at Peace FM, a radio station not in competition with any newspaper.
This arrangement deluded the public that THE PUBLISHER belongs to you.
I admit in all honesty that it got to a time you alone financed the paper for years while I was only assisting periodically with working on the content. But it is also true that during all those years you were financing the paper, you were also single handedly benefiting from whatever proceeds that was made although you were not working on the content alone.
Therefore, it is falsehood when you say you single handedly established and financed the paper for seven years before inviting me to come for free shares.
RE-BRANDING & NEW DIRECTORS
In May 2017, there was a need to rebrand the paper, inject capital and run it professionally. The focus was to enrich the content, make the paper attractive and visible enough to woo advertisers, regain credibility and reposition the brand to compete favorably on the newspaper market space.
We came together as a group of four; you, Yaw Obeng Manu, Cephas Larbi, Awudu Mahama and myself. This time, Kofi Agyepong was not part. You had informed us Kofi Agyepong had said he was NOT INTERESTED in the paper anymore. A claim Kofi Agyepong has recently denied completely and insisted he had never told you he was not interested in the newspaper or company.
Per the new arrangement, each of the four; Yaw Obeng Manu, Cephas Larbi, Awudu Mahama and myself, Halifax Ansah-Addo, were to raise the capital to rebrand the paper and give the brand the much needed facelift.
All four went out looking for a new office space and funds.
It was I, you and Cephas Larbi that raised the money. We formed a new company, 3GH Consult, and split the shares among ourselves based on the ratio of our individual contributions to the new capital. Unfortunately, Awudu Mahama did not provide his share of the capital needed and therefore was not made a part of the company.
The initial arrangement was that I was to have 35 percent of shares, you were to have 35 percent of shares and Cephas Larbi was to have 30 percent of shares.
You then raised an objection on the grounds that you and I cannot have equal shares because you had singlehandedly held the front of the newspaper for some years therefore you deserve some preferential treatment and compensation by way of having the lion’s share of the new company.
Cephas Larbi and I thought your request was understandable and therefore my shares dropped to 33 percent, while your shares climbed to 37 percent. This additional percentage given you was just to make you happy and feel good. It also served as a reward for the years you fronted.
And this was how all future monetary contributions were to be shared.
Meanwhile you can bear testimony that Cephas Larbi and I went ahead to personally take up the cost of several office logistics and electronics without billing the company. Even with staff arrangements, Cephas Larbi and I were paying some of the company workers from our private purse without billing it on the company.
The day-to-day running of the company has always been pre-financed by Cephas Larbi after which we split and pay him what out to be our contributions. Your consistent delays in paying your contribution has remained a major challenge and till date, you are still in arrears.
I humbly ask you to disabuse your mind of the delusion that you single handedly established and financed any newspaper after which you gave free shares to anyone.
The challenge that has sparked this avoidable misunderstanding is your dictatorial tendencies and the continuous nature of it.
It is wrong and unacceptable that after production and page designing has been completed, agreed upon and accepted by all editors, directors and shareholders and then sent for printing, you would on your own, change the front page stories and replace them with a completely new story not even on the line up.
This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.
There was an instance, you only called the graphic designer and asked him to change the lead story without contacting the Editors of the paper in charge of content who had gone to work on the paper the whole day and taken decisions at editorial conferences.
Quite embarrassingly, you single handedly replaced the front page story with a press release from the Ministry of Health. A press release that was not scripted to suit our editorial style.
As Editor of the paper I felt ashamed that the lead story was a word-for-word repetition and republication of a press release that was already in the public domain and was not even a topical issue.
Your actions and style is in direct conflict to our focus to enrich the content, make the paper attractive and visible enough to woo advertisers, regain credibility and reposition the brand to compete favorably on the newspaper market space.
It is not the first time you are imposing stories on the front page without having the courtesy to inform the Editors who are your co-directors and co-shareholders.
It is administratively wrong for you to make a phone call from outside the news room and speak directly to the graphic designer to place stories in the paper on the blindside of the page planners, sub editors and editors.
A newspaper cannot be run this way and be expected to compete on the market space. A company cannot also be run this way and expect to not have major challenges.
It is demoralizing that you continuously do these impositions only after production and when workers have either left or are about to leave. Many times, these interruptions from you end up delaying the printing of the paper
BAN ON EDITORIALS
Again, it is wrong for you to singe handedly place a ban on the writing of ‘Editorials’ in the newspaper of which you own just 37 percent.
You have no such rights. No, you simply do not. I do not have such rights either. Cephas Larbi also has no such rights. It is a company owned by three persons and not an individual. Such decisions cannot be imposed by one individual.
You know in your heart and conscience that what ought to be done is for such decisions to be decided at an editorial conference even if it means a virtual meeting via technology as has been the style.
SALE OF PRINTING MACHINE
I have been informed by the printers that you have ordered them to look for a buyer of our printing machine because you want to sell it. I asked Cephas Larbi and he said you had mentioned in a passing comment, your intention to sell the company’s printing machine that was not bought with your personal money.
You have no such rights. No, you simply do not. I do not have such rights either. Cephas Larbi also has no such rights. It is the property of a company owned by three persons and not an individual. Such decisions cannot be imposed by one individual.
Mr. Obeng Manu, I have not been happy about your attitude and especially the continuous nature of it. It is extremely unprofessional and unacceptable.
Perhaps if the company and newspaper belonged to you alone as an individual, your style would not have been an issue. But as it stands now, you have no choice but to admit you lack the power to impose your personal private decisions on a company of which you own 37 percent.
You cannot continue to single handedly IMPOSE on the company, what you believe should be the front page stories as well as inside stories for each edition. The paper has editors. The company belongs to directors.
I entreat you to do the right thing within your rights as a co-shareholder and co-director baring in mind the other shareholders and directors own 63 percent of the company and newspaper.
It is my hope that this second letter would be replied as we seek the application of all available options to normalize the anomaly.
Director/Shareholder, 3GH Consult
Editor- The Publisher
Cc. Mr. Cephas Larbi
Director/Shareholder, 3GH Consult
Editor- The Publisher
Cc. Alex Afenyo-Markin