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24.02.2009 Politics

Shake Up At GTV

By Daily Guide
Shake Up At GTV

Gifty Anti WORKERS OF GTV, the state television, have become nervous after producers of the station's morning current affairs programme, the Breakfast Show, were taken off the show and reassigned under controversial circumstances.

Pretty-faced Gifty Anti, the regular presenter of the show, though has not been completely taken off the programme yet, is most likely to be axed soon, sources at the station say.

The shake-up is a ripple effect of the reportedly lop-sided selection of discussants for the Breakfast Show last Friday.

The Director–General of the station, William Ampem-Darko, yesterday confirmed the reshuffle to Citi Fm and explained that the affected persons have been reassigned to other current affairs programmes at the station, such as Adult Education and Talking Point which recently lost its regular host, Egbert Faibille in equally very controversial circumstances.

Mr. Ampem-Darko however debunked the assertion that his job is on the line and said it is untrue that he is under pressure to resign.

Last Friday morning, the Breakfast Show was taken off air midway through the programme after Richard Quarshigah, a member of the Communications Team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had called Mr. Ampem-Darko to register his displeasure with the composition of the panel, with the assertion that it did not favour the NDC and the government of the day.

This apparent interference of a spokesperson of the government of the day, in the work of the state-owned national television station raised a lot of eyebrows and drew condemnation from civil society.

The incident happened not long after Mr. Egbert Faibille, a lawyer cum journalist was taken off as the host of Talking Point, a weekly current affairs programme on GTV, apparently because of his soft spot for the out-gone government.

Almost immediately after the phone call from the NDC activist last Friday, the Breakfast Show was hurriedly taken off air with an excuse that the decision was from 'above.'

The three-member panel on set included the New Patriotic Party (NPP) no-nonsense campaigner, Ursula Owusu who is also a gender activist, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, MP for Kwadaso and Chairman of the NPP Manifesto Committee for the 2008 election and one John Abu Jinapor who was representing the NDC.

Ursula Owusu, on Friday told Citi Fm that she heard the producer of the programme, Isaac Addinton, saying that orders for the truncation were given by Richard Quarshigah.

She said Gifty Anti, not knowing what was happening, gave an excuse that the cancellation was due to a technical hitch.

“All the panelists were surprised at what had happened… there was no technical problem. She was instructed to take the programme off air; my first impression was that are we back to the culture of silence? Can't we express our opinions freely and openly as the NDC members did when they were in opposition?” Ursula Owusu quizzed.

Richard Quarshigah admitted that he had called Mr. Ampem-Darko and complained about the composition of the panel.

As would be expected, he denied giving directives to management of the station to stop the programme.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo