Big Names in Pakistani Media Making the Move to BOL TV

  • Kamran Khan, Talat Hussain, Shahzeb Khanzada, Jasmine Manzoor among the names billed to be the part of BOL Network.

  • Top Management and Technical Staff of other Media Houses also rumoured to make the move.

Summer is not over yet in Pakistan but the Big Birds of Pakistani Media have already started the migration to warmer and greener pastures. With the advent of Bol Network in the Pakistani Media, a shock wave has been created, ripple effects of which can be seen throughout the media scene in Pakistan. From Newscasters & leading Anchorpersons to the top management of all leading media groups of Pakistan have allegedly signed on to become the part of , what Bol TV terms as, “The Media Revolution” in Pakistan.

As per the latest buzz in the media circles, many big names in Pakistani Television and Print industry, including Geo Network’s pioneer anchorperson Kamran Khan as well as previously associated anchorperson Sana Bucha, Express News’ Shahzeb Khanzada, Director (News) Dawn News Zahid Mazhar and Samaa TV’s previously headlining anchor Jasmine Manzoor, are billed to be the part of the upcoming Bol Network. The resignation by Express News’ senior anchorperson Talat Hussain is also reported to be a step towards joining the same group. Many renowned newscasters such as Ayesha Bukhsh and Junaid Ahmed have also been approached reportedly.

Other than the on-camera professionals, the top management and technical staff are also said to be making the move to BOL; with MD Geo Network, Azhar Abbas resigning from GEO network already rumored to already have joined BOL TV.

While few consider this pool of powerful media personalities at one platform a red flag for all other media houses who would have to face a tough competition from a newcomer in the race for ratings and ultimately, advertisement revenue; many journalists and media personalities consider the start of BOL TV a change, that will provide good working conditions and employment opportunities for the present and upcoming media professionals. Along with it, a new media house with a pool of experienced  media professionals might put an end to the tyranny created by a few media houses and will prove to be a step towards developing a more mature and responsible Pakistani media. Only the time will unfold if the claimed media revolution will do its bidding or not.

The True Story behind Managing Director GEO News Azhar Abbas’ Resignation

• “MKR Foundation Scandal for Putting Editorial Endorsement for Sale” among the Reasons for Resignation


• Expresses “desire to build an organisation that not only excels in journalism but also offers better working conditions for journalists

Rumors have become reality. The news of resignation of Managing Director Geo News, Azhar Abbas spread like the fire in the jungle among the media circles of Pakistan on Thursday, 15 August 2013. Among many issues reported by various insider sources, the infamous GeoNewsLeaks Scandal is cited as one of the main reasons for this resignation.

The buzz about Mr. Abbas’ resignation was a hot topic among media personnel, especially Geo employees, which became stronger only after Azhar Abbas was allegedly “on leave flying for vacations” in the first week of July but ended up not catching his scheduled flight. The rumor mill about him turning in his resignation grew stronger in his absence but neither Geo nor Azhar Abbas himself made any announcement.

This falling among the internal higher management caused further unrest among Geo employees when their salaries were not disbursed on time, even before Eid. The grapevine among the media circles was filled with reports of Mr. Abbas joining the upcoming BOL Network after Eid.

After much buildup and speculation, the news of his resignation was confirmed only after Mr. Azhar Abbas circulated this goodbye memo among the fellow Geo employees:

Dear Team Geo,

I write this email with a heavy heart. A heavy heart because I have come to conclusion that there is only so much that I can do for all of you, while working here.

It is only due to you that we realised the dream of making Geo the premier news channel of the country.

Any leader in my position would struggle to count their blessings. It was a rare and distinctive privilege to lead a team with such creativity, professionalism and commitment.


As you extended unflinching support to me, I assure you I was equally committed to your professional excellence and better working conditions. I acknowledge I may not have been able to deliver all I wanted. But, I am sure, this will remain an ongoing process and soon you will work under better terms and conditions.


And now for the most difficult bit: I have decided to leave and pursue other career options.


I have faith in your ability and I am sure GeoNews’s quality and place in the market will remain unaltered. No matter what you do make sure your commitment to excellence remains singular and Geo will continue to fly.


A part of me will always remain here. But I am taking with me the desire to build an organisation that not only excels in journalism but also offers better working conditions for journalists.


I wish Geo and each one of you the best of luck. I will not even try and thank you for all your hard work and support for words fail me.


Love and Regards


Yours

Azhar Abbas

While the departing memo shows no signs of bad blood or bitterness between Geo Network and Azhar Abbas, our sources inform that among many other issues, the much talked-about GEO NEWS LEAKS scandal, pertaining to the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Foundation’s plea for funding from U.S government putting its Editorial content for sale, was the main reason for his resignation. Mr. Azhar Abbas was reportedly not happy being associated with a media organization that would put its editorial board on sale, considering this act as annihilation of journalism ethics and morals. With already brought back half-heartedly after much persuasion of Geo’s higher management, the scandal served as a final boarding call for Mr. Azhar Abbas and he decided to go on with his resignation.

GEO NEWS Selling Airtime to U.S Government – A Question on Sanctity of Pakistani Media

Geo Network does not seem to be catching a break these days. Already caught amidst the whirlwind of Media commission Report and PEMRA’s allegations, the leak of document from MKR foundation begging their foreign lords for funds might serve as the final nail in the coffin for GEO Network. With its primetime programming and anchorpersons open for sale to foreign Lords for the price of more than million pounds, Geo Network is planning to make the most out of the cash cow status of its influence in Pakistani media scene with total disregard to sanctity of journalistic professionalism and nationalism.

The leaked Document is from Mir Khalil ur Rahman Foundation (the governing NGO of Jang / Geo Group). This document was submitted to the Bureau 0f Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), United States Department of State on 30th June 2013, asking for a “grant” for their upcoming campaign “Access to Justice: Media Campaign “.

In the leaked document, MKRF foundation claims about running different campaigns in Pakistan. Ironically, campaign against Islamic laws (Hudood ordinance) and foreign funded Aman Ki Asha are the most proudly owned and presented in this document. The reality of Aman Ki Asha was also revealed through media commission report two weeks before that how the Norwegian NGO funding Aman Ki Asha is connected to Indian sponsors including the Indian state television, the Doordarshan.

Such controversies are nothing new for Geo Network. Geo News and its anchors are known for their anti-ISI and anti-Armed forces inclination dejecting the security apparatus when the armed forces are busy fighting India-funded insurgency in Baluchistan, FATA, and Karachi.

The question arises in one’s mind that how low can a Pakistani Channel stoop by campaigning against Islamic Laws and Two Nation Theory – the theory giving birth to the very existence of Pakistan. Would greed and gluttony make them so desperate to sell their nationalism to their foreign lords? Will there be any end to the hypocrisy of the black sheep of Pakistani Media, Geo Network?