Walker leaving ObserverWednesday, April 03, 2019
After seven years of sterling service to the ATL Group of companies Danville Walker has decided to move on and pursue other interests.
Walker, who was managing director of the Jamaica Observer and Appliance Traders Ltd, met with staff Monday and told them of his decision.
He said he was “closing an exciting and rewarding chapter” in his life with the Gordon “Butch” Stewart-led group and “will treasure the memories and lessons learned”.
Walker said he was proud to have been at the helm of the Observer when it celebrated its 25th anniversary last year March and encouraged the newspaper to continue its fine tradition of highlighting issues of national importance as well as preserving Jamaica's democracy.
Walker served as director of elections and head of the Electoral Office of Jamaica from 1997 to 2008, the same year that he was named a member of the Order of Jamaica.
In 2004, the Government appointed him chief executive officer of the Office of National Reconstruction to oversee the reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
In May 2008 he resigned as director of elections and was appointed commissioner of Customs the following month.
In 2011 he went into representational politics, becoming the Jamaica Labour Party candidate for the Manchester Central constituency. However, he narrowly lost the seat to the People's National Party incumbent Peter Bunting.
In March 2012 he was named managing director of the Observer.
The vacancy created by Walker's departure will be filled by renowned Caribbean broadcaster, journalist, and media manager Julian Rogers.
He takes up the post as managing director tomorrow fresh from Guardian Media Limited where, as managing editor, he oversaw a major redevelopment of its 102-year-old Trinidad Guardian, CNC3-TV and TBC Radio Network.
He is perhaps best known as the host and producer of the weekly Talk Caribbean show, among other programmes, with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union.
His expertise has been in developing market leaders in several countries across the region where he has served as manager, from Antigua and Barbuda to Barbados to Trinidad and Tobago.
As a media trainer, Rogers has guided the growth of multiple talents in broadcasting and journalism across the Caribbean. He was appointed a Member of the British Empire by The Queen, on the recommendation of the Government of Barbados, for his 50-year contribution to the field of broadcasting.
He was also honoured by The University of the West Indies' television service, UwiTV, for a lifetime of service in the cause of regional integration through media, information and communication.
“I'm very honoured to inherit the leadership of the Jamaica Observer from a distinguished line of media managers who built the brand over the past 25 years,” Rogers said. “I have had a long association with the fine journalists who have given the paper its fine reputation and I expect to help to encourage the careers of the current generation.”
Added Rogers: “I recognise the expectations that Jamaicans have of the Observer, and my early conversations with the leadership and staff of the company give me the strong impression that they are ready to respond to the new challenges of the industry to sustain and grow the enterprise in the service of this country.”
Noting that the media market in the region, as well as the demands of audiences have undergone tremendous change, Rogers said that understanding the new demands requires media to be agile in creating content that is available around the clock and at the convenience of the audience.
“That's our biggest challenge.”
“The prospects for the Jamaica Observer are good. The team that I lead is committed to delivering a newspaper in print and online that offers something for every sector of this vibrant population,” he said.
“Jamaica is a proud international brand and the Jamaica Observer is associated with that excellence,” Rogers said. “I can promise you one thing, that the Jamaica Observer will continue to observe, no pun intended, the highest level of journalism, in keeping with the reputation for fierce independence. It is that pursuit that distinguishes excellent media houses and we are committed to that standard. It is our reputation at stake every day.”