Hello all. This fell onto my lap.
Days after the shocking staff reshuffle in Today, the "resignation" of Mano Sabnani was used as a warning to others in Today to toe the line. On Nov 12, P N Balji and some senior editors were told by Mediacorp Deputy CEO Shaun Seow that Today should tone down its alternative streak at least for the moment until the coast is clear.
During the half hour meeting in the morning, Shaun reiterated that Mediacorp had top-down and bottom-up pressure to remove Mano, who was a lousy people manager. The final straw was Mano's handling of the Mr Brown affair and his anxious decision to terminate Lee Kin Mun's popular weekly column. Mano had over-reacted and misread the government's anger after his experience in the Val Chua incident. As a result of Mano's action, the public became incensed with what they saw was the strong interfering hand of the government in removing their favourite columinist from Today.
The topic then changed to editorial hooks. While no names were mentioned, Shaun said that the angles by certain Today editors during the 2006 General Election were touchy and it should not become a habit. Shaun tried to reason with his increasingly uncomfortable audience that his hands were tied and everybody better play ball or they might suffer an even worse fate than Mano. Mano had at least an ex-gratia payment upon his departure.
Shaun reminded them that the political masters have them sighted and keeping their heads down was sensible.
After the meeting, everyone trooped out with dark looks and a worried Balji, Today's returned founding editor, was frustrated that he had to deal with more morale problems, although Today was already turning profitable.
By afternoon, whispers soon began circulating about their spineless leadership who dare not stand up and insist on editorial independence. Derrick Paulo is one reporter who feels that he might be the next sacrificial lamb. Balji is just the seat warmer for Walter Fernandez, the new number two in Today. Walter is eager to please but is trying not to attract too much attention to himself in Today's management mess. He is bidding his time and letting Balji take the heat.
So, don't expect Today to be like what it was.
18 Nov 2006
Spotted this on Singapore Elections and the source is allegedly Sammyboy's Forum. Read the following, but the 'truth' of it is open to debate...