Six employees of Interactive Media Ltd. (IML), publishers of Searchlight newspaper, have been severed as the company begins restructuring amidst a more challenging media environment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The employees received their termination letters on Tuesday, five days after they learnt, through an iWitness News story, that some of them would lose their jobs as a result of what the company had told the staff would be a “restructuring”.

The company announced the development in a story published behind the pay wall on its website on Thursday.

The article is expected to appear in its print edition on Friday.

In the article, Chief Executive Officer of IML and Editor of Searchlight, Clare Keizer, confirmed — as iWitness News reported a week earlier — that the Midweek edition of Searchlight would be changed to a digital-only publication.

Keizer said the change will take effect on May 1.

iWitness News understands that the Midweek Searchlight has been struggling for years to maintain a dedicated readership, and its print run was slashed by 50 per cent in 2012, just two years after it was introduced.

The company’s flagship publication, which is presented on Fridays, will continue in print and digital formats, IML said.

Media industry insiders have told iWitness News that IML has been forced to make the adjustments as it attempts to respond to the fast-changing local media landscape, including the blossoming of free-to-read news websites, of which iWitness News is one.

IML said the changes come as the company “responds to challenges, and further exploits opportunities presented by the increasingly digital, mobile and social media environment in which we live”.

5 replies on “6 Searchlight workers severed”

  1. C. Ben-David says:

    Searchlight also needs to dump its washed out and boring editorial writers — Bassy Alexander, Renwick Rose, and, above all, Adrian Fraser — all of whom are well past their “best before date” and unleash a new cohort of dynamic occasional guest writers.

    As I have said, its just a matter of time before one of our three national newspapers ceases publication.

  2. Not surprising; as has been the changing paradigm re the course to information ever where, the main reason too the many amalgamations of the past 20 years. Mr. Chance’s vision has been consistent even through what may have appeared as awful challenges at times, was well worth his determination in maintaining IWN.

    Local jobs creation is taking a new approach focusing more to self-employment, self-reliant.

    In life the strategy is to understand that challenges will happen and that “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”

  3. No way Ben, Renwick and Adrian, brilliant writers. I look forward to my three newspapers each week, I mostly take in the Editorial/columnist etc. Learnt a lot from these guys, unlike boring Ben with one line AIASVG bashing.

  4. Duffield Layne. says:

    The Searchlight News Paper was destined for this sort of a decline a long time now – the reason for its demise, at least in part, is because of its TABLOID and irresponsible style of reporting along with its politically bias leanings in its publications.

    In 2012, I was a victim of the Searchlight Tabloid irresponaible and unprofessional style of reporting. I I returned to SVG from North America and decided to reside there and do a business, subsequently , I fathered two children and being a responsible father and parent, I stood up to my responsibility and assume the role of a good pillar of support for my children.

    I immediately gave my kids their citizenship for north America as any wise parent would do, it got to a point where the mother of these children, who was in her element, at times became verbally abusive to my children so I decided to remove them from around her. She went to the news paper to report the situation and without contacting me or doing an investigation an editor for the Searchlight News Paper plastered my name on its FRONT PAGE along with pictures of my children titled “ABUCTION” sending shockwaves throughout SVG and labeling me a child abductor.

    It is this sort of TABLOID and false reporting without proper investigation and its bias and partisan political leanings that would result in the imminent closure or the unraveling of a news paper like the SEARCHLIGHT. After confronting the editor he then published an apology to correct and recant the scandalous reporting in the follow up issue of the paper. I know Mr Chance would never have done a story like that without finding out the facts.

  5. The publishers of the Searchlight Newspaper needs to get up to date and change the existing format and contents of their News print, if they intend to continue to exist in a changing world and so too the other News printers here.

    It does not endear one at all in reading the same old stale, outdated format that these publishers put out.
    For example, it was pointed out that there are no specialist informative news pages dedicated to say: Education, Fashion, Science, Money and or Finance such as Mortgages, Investment, Credit Cards or even Travel. Just the same stale old format that served yesterday’s people.

    The World has changed and continues ever changing very fast. The existing News print format here, is just not good enough. Management and Staff do need a thorough shake-up!

    Should they make note of the changed environment and change too, there is no reason why both they and the electronic medium, could not exist side by side creating jobs in the process rather than loosing them.

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