There is such a frenetic game of musical chairs going on in the media these days that we can hardly keep up. So we decided to just do a short post, combining all the major transitions we do know about or have heard about...
First up, rumours are swirling that Fahd Hussain, who recently left Express TV to join Dunya, may be signing up with Aaj TV, where Talat Hussain recently announced his departure. According to this website, Fahd has been involved in some clashes with Dunya TV's owner Mian Aamir Mahmood and is also finding it frustrating not to yet have found a primetime slot there. We do not know how true these particular reports are but Fahd himself apparently refuses to either confirm or deny the rumours of negotiations with Aaj, which might be some sort of indication.
Matters are complicated by further rumours that Talat Hussain's apparent move to DawnNews may have hit snags over his desire to bring with him about half a dozen other subordinates at fairly high salaries, at which DawnNews management has balked. There are also reports that Aaj management is going full throttle to retain Talat by offering to address the issues he had with the channel. If indeed either or both of these reports are true, and Talat does in fact stay at Aaj, obviously there would not be any empty slot for Fahd to move into.
In any case, that's enough of the rumours. What is certain are the following:
Sana Bucha, the host of Crisis Cell who recently resigned from Geo to go to ARY, is coming back to Geo, believe it or not. Apparently, she began having doubts about her move to ARY almost immediately upon signing up with them, realizing (a bit late) that she would be reporting to one President Dr S&M there. Even before she had formally begun work there, however, she therefore allowed herself to be poached by the Express Media Group. This is when it got even more interesting. Having signed up with Express (in what capacity, whether for the Express Tribune or for their channels, we are not quite sure), she was beseeched by a rather dramatic Mir Ibrahim Rahman (MIR) to come back to the Geo fold. Apparently she was put under a lot of family pressure (the Rahmans know her family) and finally buckled on the condition that MIR would handle the embarrassment with the Express management. In this short, almost virtual job hopping spree, it is said that she managed to come back to Geo at double her previous salary. A good strategy if you can swing it.
Meanwhile, from the looks of this return, the negotiations that Geo was having with Meher Bokhari (which have been confirmed) to wean her away from Samaa, seem to have come to naught.
But Geo has managed to snag one other big fish, so to speak. As we reported earlier (in rumour terms), Dr Shahista Wahidi is all set to take over the morning show at Geo, replacing the once-favoured Nadia Khan. Wahidi has left ARY and scooted over to Geo's welcoming arms at a whopping salary. Her stint will begin anon.
In already established news, Zaffar Abbas has formally taken over (on October 4) as Editor Dawn from the departing Abbas Nasir, who has moved back to London with his family after four-years at the helm of the paper. And Aaj TV has introduced former bureaucrat and columnist Orya Maqbool Jan and former The News editor Salim Bokhari as the bickering replacements for Mushtaq Minhas and Nusrat Javed in their Bolta Pakistan programme. The latter duo, as we all know, now bicker over at Dunya TV on Dunya Mere Aagay.
On an unrelated note, Arif Nizami's Pakistan Today is now said to launch today (October 5) in Lahore and, interestingly, will be published in the tabloid format, making it the country's first such daily.