January 12, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The PTV English Channel is being launched as desired by President Asif Ali Zardari and it is being done significantly to create a soft and liberal global image of the war-torn country. Nonetheless the sceptics are not hopeful to see it up and running, it will be launched and then subjected to the treatment that has already been meted out to PTV Sports.
Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza’s mastermind PTV Sports effectively trumped its competitors as he managed to pick up rights of almost all the world tournaments in different sports that created an instant impact. He picked up relatable and equally useful people to help him launch a channel that was definitely needed to add to the colours of the national broadcaster.
No one could question the revenue that PTV Sports has generated through its live feeds and events but the way it rocketed to success was dismayingly aborted due to internal conflict, self-imposed broadcasting experts and hugely due to the bias and inflexibility of their Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza.
Baig himself has become controversial within and outside the realms of PTV. His personal issues led to some of the incompetent lot being close to him reportedly making him a hostage by helping him out of his domestic problems and the one who leads the banner is Ali Kazam a man with dubious background.
Kazam is working as head of the broadcast, head of the sports channel and now being recruited to look after operations of the PTV English. He is virtually functioning as the de facto managing director who could run away with everything. Kazam, from rustication to charges of misconduct and inefficiency is being patronized by Yousaf Baig even at the cost of his own reputation. His reputation is being dented relentlessly, still he is unmoved.
Kazam who has reportedly helped Yousaf Baig in playing down his personal issues and also representing him in the court cases in Lahore was consequently appointed as head of the PTV Sports without having any such background. An insider says that Aamir Sohail who was hired at an exorbitant Rs 900,000 per month is the man who actually pitched Ali Kazam against the work team of the PTV Sports to control the channel.
Kazam and Aamir as reported share a close bond and are likeminded. With Dr. Nauman Niaz, the flagrant and easily incited falling on the wrong side whom Yousaf Baig had hired and made head of the content also appreciating his skills and screen image is now daggers drawn charging him of breaching the management tiers and also chastising him for not being a ‘team man’.
Dr. Nauman on the other hand as one of the PTV staffers confided went on medical leave though his was protest and reaction against Ali Kazam being appointed as head of the channel and also for interfering in his work.
Dr. Nauman as one was informed by an insider was temperamental, intolerant and eccentric. However, the quality of his work made him an important part of the PTV Sports, winning him instant acclaim. His screen presence has since then been missed sordidly. He has a reputation of an up front, thorough and someone with high credibility because of his well- honed analysis and detailed knowledge.
His departure left the channel on crutches with people like Mohammad Ali Sawal trying to occupy the space, eventually removed from the screen on charges of breach of code of conduct and protests from the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Aamir Sohail, who during his career as a cricketer was often charged of hatching conspiracies probably, has taken it to the sports channel. Despite Dr. Nauman being termed as a man of his own flight, someone hard to work with because of intractability, stubbornness and upfront attitude has been an extremely popular anchorperson, with enormous experience of cricket administration, broadcasting and writing acclaimed worldwide.
Insiders say that Dr. Nauman is well-connected and is using his weight to return on his own terms, also banking on his enormous broadcasting experience and the managing director, himself a media stalwart is now adamant to impede his restoration as head of content or as channel head. It has now become a power-game that is collaterally damaging the channel.
It is also reported that Yousaf Baig is going out of the way to protect Ali Kazam and Aamir Sohail and somewhat this has become the troika at the PTV. Neutrally one must see it as something that should have been avoided, with the managing director pitched against his head of content is ugly or vice versa. Both seem to be now losing their perspectives and people like Kazam and Aamir Sohail are using the situation to their credit.
It is evident that PTV Sports has lost its quality and viability and the public view is changing and as inferred from the ratings Geo Super talk shows have again started to attract the masses.
(The views expressed by the writer are not necessarily those of JournalismPakistan.com)
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