As if almost on cue to khabardrama's long-delayed review of Arif Nizami's Pakistan Today (see previous post), comes news from chacha Majid Nizami's The Nation of large-scale layoffs at the paper there (no, we don't think there's any connection).
More than 30 staffers have been summarily dismissed today without any advance warning from the Lahore office alone and several from Islamabad as well. The Peshawar and Karachi bureaus fear that the axe will next fall on them. Economic difficulties are being cited as the only reason. It's not entirely clear yet whether the personnel sacked were the same ones who had recently received long-delayed raises or whether these layoffs had anything to do with the very recent departure of editor Shireen Mazari.
It should be kept in mind that Majid Nizami can be a vengeful proprietor. We heard about a peon who was recently summarily sacked after more than 20 years of service, simply because the management suspected that his loyalties may still lie with the embittered former editor (and nephew) Arif Nizami.
The Nation does seem to be in freefall. And it's difficult to see how such measures are going to help it meet the challenge posed by the brash new competitors such as Express Tribune and Pakistan Today, both of which have oodles of cash backing them up.