Tribune 24/7 channel shut, over 100 employees fired

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Islamabad (TP) Jan 7:  Tribune 24/7, an English news channel of Express Media Group, was shut down by its owner and chief executive officer Sultan Lakhani between the night of Saturday and Sunday, and over 100 employees including sub-editors, content writers and producers affiliated with the channel, were fired from jobs without being issued prior notices, sources told The Punch.

The Tribune 24/7 went off the air just six months after its launch in July 2018. The sources said that the employees affiliated with the channel were conveyed the message about the closure of the channel and they were told not to show up at the office in Karachi.

According to the sources, a few employees who were affiliated with the English channel and said to be close to Lakhani and the management, have verbally been told to be “accommodated” on the web page of The Express Tribune, but they have not been given any written assurance.

Tribune 24/7 had been launched with much fanfare by Express Media Group with a claim to “provide people with reliable and accurate reporting in real time”.

During the launch of the English channel, the Express Media Group had claimed that “the need for an independent English news channel in Pakistan has never been greater. At a time of great global change at every level – political, social, demographic and technological – Pakistan has to find its rightful place in the new order, and it has to communicate with the world in the language of the world”.

The self-proclaimed largest media group had also claimed that “Tribune 24/7 will take Pakistan to the world and bring the world to Pakistan with conviction and clarity of purpose. It will present Pakistan’s perspective and show the world what the people have to say, not just what the governments have to say”.

In the last two years or so, the Express Media Group has fired hundreds of workers and journalists from The Express Tribune and Urdu daily Express, citing “financial crunch” despite the fact that the group has earned billions of rupees in government and private advertisements over the years. — Courtesy The Punch

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