Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Samaa of Another Bubble Bursting

So, apparently, the latest victim of the bursting media bubble is Samaa TV, which today sacked some half a dozen people, and rumours are rife within the channel that more pink slips are about to come. Ironically, many of those laid off today were refugees from DawnNews, i.e. they had been snapped up by Samaa when they were served their marching orders during DawnNews' scaling down spree a couple of months ago. Doesn't say much about Samaa's financial planning does it? Considering the fact that Samaa's owner, Accountant Zafar Siddiqui, has a reputation for such "spontaneous" decisions - he used to run the now defunct Telebiz before launching the CNBC franchise CNBC Pakistan and Samaa -it should hardly have come as a surprise though.

The buzz within the organization is that those who stay will also be asked to take a pay cut.

The news has followed the apparent demotion of Director News Amir Zia a few days ago. He was asked to move from Karachi to Islamabad as the Director Current Affairs. In his stead, ex-Dawn reporter Ehteshamuddin has been made the new in-charge of the News section. Meanwhile, according to reports, Server Moosavee, a director of commercials and music videos, has been annointed the new head of the channel. He was previously serving as adviser to Siddiqui. It's not clear whether former CEO Amir Jahangir has been replaced or Moosavee's position is a new one. Let's see how long that lasts.


Anonymous said...

Another "cafe pyala first" scoop. Great job!

Amir Jahangir said...

You live in a world of insecurities, Mr. Amir Zia is back in the field of journalism with SAMAA's flagship program "Qoum Kay Samnay". This is every journalist's dream.

As for the role of the CEO and the other top management, the recebt achievements of SAMAA both at domestic and International arena also defines how managment structure has made Samaa the only channel in Pakistan to represent at the Association of International Broadcasters and winning the Asian CSR Award for the entire Asia region.

Remember we are living in an Informnation Age not the Industrial Age anymore.

Amir Jahangir

CPM said...

I am glad that Mr. Amir Jahangir, the COO(?) of Samaa TV has tried to clarify our insecurities (wait, OUR insecurities?).. but perhaps he can answer what exactly was factually wrong with our report, most of the contentions of which he has not addressed.

1) Mr. Jahangir says "Mr. Amir Zia is back in the field of journalism"... we weren't aware that he ever left, unless Mr. Jahangir knows something we don't. Is Mr. Amir Zia still the Director News of Samaa?

2)Were a bunch of people recently NOT fired from Samaa?

3)Is Mr. Server Moosavee NOT the new head of the channel?

He may also wish to explain a couple more things:

4) Doesn't CSR stand for Corporate Social Responsibility? So, in effect, the award to Samaa was for doing something nice for something like the environment or the community as opposed to for its brilliant management or its quality?

5)What does "we are living in an Information Age not the Industrial Age anymore" even mean? And what does this have to do with Samaa having to fire people because of cost cutbacks?

We wait with bated breath for our insecurities to be further lifted.

Anonymous said...

Just to set the record straight, the DawnNews 'refugees' at Samaa *chose* migration. The first one to go left at the tailend of April, a good month after the sacking spree end-March. Without exception, the 'refugees' were asked by Abbas Nasir to reconsider their decision.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

ok... i'm usually the silent observer (reader) but this time its an exception.
1st of all let me tell u that the reason of sacking people was never "financial". Oh, wait a minute the latest news first .i.e. Mr. Amir Zia is told to leave by 11th of March, 2010. (explain this Mr. Jehangir).
I know a woman who was hired on a package of 60k a month. But in 6 months time she got an increasement and her salary was raised to 100k a month... no my friends, thats not all after a year she started getting rupees 300k a month.. i hold nothing personal against her but im curious to know that why would a woman doing just one lame show (achievers) a week and would only come to office when Mr.CEO himself is there get this much of a raise in this little a time?
They very proudly say that its not a seth owned channel where only family runs a business blah blah .. i say at least they earn from their commercial time unlike samaa where only FUNDS from God knows which sheikh and Meher Bokahari's cousin Yahya Bokhari work out so well for them. And that by the way shows why would a loser anchor is given such an importance..
I agree about the mosavee guy A SONG VIDEO MAKER who knows nothing about NEWS and he's heading a news channel.. hahaha ...
Pardon my ignornace mr. Jehangir, but kindly let me know why on earth a tv channel has a PR department? I mean marketting makes sense but well.. isnt it nice to keep your poor reporters employed instead of having a PR department whose most of the main employees are colleagues of yours from your previous office?
You are announcing scholarships for students and also promising them jobs? Why dont you stop favouring some personal favorites of yours and keep the low salaried employees employed?
Most of samaa Khi's team is either Mosavee's favourites or Jehangir's friends. Is this the way to run a business? well i think for you thats the way it is!!

Anonymous said...

I have been going through the various comments and statements on SAMAA's management and business strategy - all I have to say is that the media industry in Pakistan is still in the process of being established and polished as a professional and fair, factual and sensible reporting arena - A person speaks about firing and laying off - well that has been the scene overall - in all industries so why blame SAMAA for actions which are being carried out in other organizations as well. From what I have read and see on screen, this is one channel which is trying to develop a sensible media reporting in Pakistan - the various awards which has been given to this channel -both national and international speaks about its efforts (unless someone wants to blame this for being planned by SAMAA as well)- we should encourage the efforts of any organization which wants to bring change in its area of business and operations - this column seem more to be written by someone who has been laid off by SAMAA management for his/her inefficiency - because a third party (unbias) person would not be bringing these issues forward unless there was a personal venum waiting to be chill and keep watching SAMAA for some REAL news...

Anonymous said...

Is Your Organization Suffering from Injelitis?

The term “Injelitis “ or Palsied Paralysis was first coined by the renowned British naval historian and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson in his book, Parkinson`s Law : The Pursuit of Progress Which was first published in 1958.

The book, based on humorous article that he had written in The Economist in 1955, was a collection of short studies of the bureaucratic organization. He defined it as “ the disease of induced inferiority”.

In the book he said that not much was known about the treatment nor was much likely to be discovered.
There are the stages of the disease:
1. An Individual with the disease joins the organization. The Symptoms are a combination of incompetence and jealousy.
2. In the next stage, the infected individual gets control of the organization and promptly fills it up with people more stupid than her or himself.
3. In the tertiary stage, there is “ no spark of intelligence left in the organization from top to bottom ”.This is described as the coma stage. Recovery is possible, but rare. Symptoms including complacency, smugness, and finally, total apathy. Desks are scattered with sandwich crumbs. Notice boards are littered with out-of-data notices. This stage of the disease can even be detected over the telephone by the bored and enthusiastic way staff answer the phone.
4. Finally, the organization is practically dead. However, Parkinson warns that no part should be regarded as free from infection. Staff should be dispatched to competitors to do what damage they can.
The buildings should be insured heavily and set alight.
“Only when the site is a blackened ruin can we feel certain that the germs of the disease are dead “
Courtesy : Naved Alam Zubairi – M.D. Asia Petroleum Ltd.