So, after suffering the ignominy of being relegated from a daily show to a thrice-a-week show over the weekend, windbag Dr. S&M has finally jumped back to the mothership. Yes, that's right, regular viewers of Geo News will perhaps not be forced to switch to some other channel at 11pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when the quack doc used to come on. He's gone back to whence he originally came from, the Haji Razzak and family-owned ARY.
You may remember that ARY was where he first got his big break as the pompous predicter of the Day of Judgement in religious and political terms. He fed the never-ending appetite of Pakistanis for esoteric conspiracy theories in what was then a newly liberalized electronic media. The Haji brothers - who, like most conservative memon businessmen, believe fiercely in superstitions keeping their businesses going - were rather heart-broken when he scooted over for a better salary to Geo, since they thought of him as some sort of lucky mascot. A brief and controversial stint as MD and Chairman of Pakistan Television - which probably came his way only because the government wanted his crap off the much-watched Geo - ended with him slinking back to Geo with his tail between his legs. He soon shed this humiliation to emerge as the most vengeful attacker of his previous patron, President Asif Ali Zardari and his PPP government.
Unfortunately for Dr. S&M, however, he and the Geo management soon discovered that they weren't in Kansas anymore. Viewers seemed to have moved on from the excitement of fire and brimstone posturing by television anchors, a novelty in the early part of the decade but a cliche by now. More and more viewers were choosing to switch away from the political opinion shows to straightforward news reporting or light-hearted fare such as Dunya TV's Hasb-e-Haal, which poked fun not only at the real politicos but also at the media's politicians. Soon, abysmal viewership figures for his Meray Mutabiq (billed rightly as Pakistan's most opinionated show) saw the blowhard's show reduced to an afterthought, put in the weekend slum slot. Government pressure had also forced him to shut down his set in Dubai. By the end, he seemed to be doing the show from what seemed like a small room at the Aga Khan Hospital.
So now, the quack doc has wheedled his way into not only having ARY reviving his old 'Views on News' show, but also assumed overall presidency of the ARY Network. All I can say is Geo's gain is ARY's loss.