Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2013 Contents A5
Friday, July 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The T&T Guardian is going digital
and will be the first local newspaper
to do it.
As it phases out its current E-edition,
the new Digital Guardian is not a replica
of the daily newspaper but features
multi-media capabilities which will
allow subscribers to interact with
reporters, editors and advertisers.
At a private launch yesterday at the
AMCO Compound, Chaguanas, sales
manager at Guardian Media Ltd (GML),
George Elias, introduced the product,
saying it will make the newspaper stand
out from all others and will continue
its trend of being a trailblazer in inno-
"Trinidad Guardian has always been
among the trailblazers in T&T. We are
the first newspaper that ever went
online (1995)... first paper with a busi-
ness newspaper, launched in 1993 and
the first to have a mobile app," he said.
Online readers who subscribed to
the Digital Guardian would pay
US$39.95 a year and have access to all
stories, video clips and the "extras."
Cyntra Achong, general manager,
Group Marketing, said its traditional
print format had space limitations and
the digital format would allow for extra
information at the editor s discretion,
depending on the story.
"Wherever the editor has additional
details they will be added to the digital
versions, so subscribers will be able to
get additional content, she added."
Also, subscribers would be able to
share articles, via social media, print
pages from the newspaper, search for
stories easily by issue or topic and
browse through archives of past news-
The web-version of the newspaper
is expected to change as Digital
Guardian comes on stream. The busi-
ness, editorial and op-ed sections
would only be available to subscribers.
Asked whether consumers in T&T
were ready for such a change in how
they accessed their online news, Elias
was confident that as long as the qual-
ity and standard of content remained
high, subscribers would come on board.
He said: "This is content that we
are viewing as being exclusive. We
believe that the brands are strong
enough that people are going to desire
and want to be there. We know that
this is the next step for us, for our
Elias said the Digital Guardian was
targeting a younger demographic, peo-
ple between the ages 18 and 30, who
do not go out to buy a newspaper any-
way and that is why there is a strong
focus on bringing in tertiary school
Students would have a preferred
access webpage, access to $100,000
in bursary money and a premier card
to get discounts from restaurants and
retailers throughout the country.
Also, and perhaps most useful, stu-
dents would receive three months of
free access, then pay TT$5 a month
after that for the subscription.
According to Elias, it is also part of
reinforcing the company s commitment
to empowering T&T s future leaders.
The move toward monetising news
is nothing new, as the New York Times,
Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer
and hundreds of other international
news organisations have implemented
pay walls and subscriptions to access
certain stories on their sites.
Digital Guardian also intends to
enhance the customer and advertiser
experience, as businesses can embed
videos, receive e-mails from customers,
via their advertisement, and even com-
plete transactions. Elias said it s all
about maximum engagement.
Advertisers could share more and
would be able to receive immediate and
direct feedback from their potential
customers. he said.
All first-time subscribers will receive
30 days free access. From July 24, all
E-edition subscribers will be transi-
tioned to the Digital Guardian and in
September, GML plans the biggest
launch of all.
"That s when we really go big," said
A group of Trinidad Cement
Ltd (TCL) minority shareholders
will petition a High Court judge
this morning for an injunction
stopping the company s annual
The meeting is scheduled for
4.30 pm today at TCL s com-
pound, Claxton Bay.
Attorneys representing the group
of companies and individuals yes-
terday filed court documents for
the matter in the Port-of-Spain
High Court registry.
A short hearing was held before
Justice David Harris, during which
the company s lawyers were served
with the documents.
Harris adjourned the matter to
9.30 am today when submissions
for and against the injunction will
be presented by the two groups of
The shareholders listed in law-
suit are Wilnet Holdings Ltd,
Stephen Espinet, Masa Invest-
ments Ltd, Brimont Ltd, Kamal
Ali, Alescon Readymix Ltd, Bourne
Investment Inc, Tatil Life Assur-
ance Ltd, Nicholas Development
Ltd, Helen Bhagwansingh Ltd and
Issa Nicholas Holdings. The group
of investors together hold 5.68 per
cent shareholding in TCL.
According to their fix date claim
form, which was obtained by the
T&T Guardian, the group is chal-
lenging a decision by TCL directors
to refuse to attach the group s proposal
and statement to the management
proxy circular which accompanied
the notice of the annual meeting.
The proposal and statement
related to the group s proposed
nomination of five directors to
TCL s board and were submitted
on June 14. In the lawsuit, the
group is seeking a declaration
which would render the board s
June 24 decision unlawful, null,
void and of no effect. Before filing
the lawsuit, it wrote to the board
members on June 20, asking them
to reconsider their decision.
The group informed the board
it was the perogative of the share-
holders to decide and vote on the
composition of the board.
"Our nominees would have to
be elected at the annual meeting
by the shareholders and they are
not automatic of the directors who
may wish to put themselves up
for re-election and therefore the
suggestion with respect to pro-
portionality of board representation
and contest for directorships seems
misplaced," the group said.
Included in the lawsuit, is a 12-
page affidavits, sworn by Espinet,
in which he detailed the dealings
between the two parties which led
to the legal action being filed.
Espinet said he became con-
cerned over TCL s financial posi-
tion after the company failed to
declare a dividend between 2008
and 2012. "As a result of my con-
cerns and the fact that I held
investment in TCL as a sharehold-
er, I had conversations with a
number of people about the state
of affairs at TCL," Espinet said.
He said the group joined togeth-
er this year in an attempt to nom-
inate five experienced persons to
the board to replace five current
board members whose terms were
due to expire at the meeting.
Espinet said after the meeting
was first announced on May 18,
the group submitted its proposal
to TCL s corporate secretary on
He claimed that ten days later,
TCL s chairman Andy Bhajan com-
municated with the group and
informed them of the board s deci-
sion to refuse its proposal.
Espinet said Bhajan and the
board relied on Section 119 (f) of
the Companies Act of 1995 to deny
the proposal, while stating it "was
inimical to the overall best interest
of TCL." In its lawsuit, the group
is also seeking a declaration stating
the directors position on the issue
was "oppressive or unfairly prej-
udicial" to them.
The legislation defines the nom-
ination process and also lists the
circumstances in which such a
proposal could be refused by a
board. The group is relying on Sec-
tion 122 of the act, which empow-
ers a company s shareholders, who
hold more than five per cent stake
and whose proposals are refused,
to apply to the High Court for an
injunction stopping the company s
annual general meeting.
The injunction being sought in
this case will expire on the deter-
mination of the group s substantive
The shareholders are being rep-
resented by Senior Counsel Douglas
Mendes and attorney Stuart Young.
Dr Claude Denbow, SC, and Donna
Denbow are representing TCL.
'New format will allow for extra info'
Supporters of the Indian cricket team had much to celebrate as their team won the tri-series final
against Sri Lanka at the Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
TCL shareholders seek
to stop AGM today
Sales manager T&T Guardian George Elias makes
a presentation on the new Digital Guardian
at its launch at the ANSA McAL training centre,
Chaguanas, yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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