• “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
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.