Saturday, January 24, 2009

Outlook Money editor quits and exposes outlook

Monika Halan has quit Outlook Money and in the process has exposed the wrongdoings at Outlook 

Test of resignation

Dear All,
I am deeply upset to tell you that I have resigned. For the last three years we've been like a close-knit family and to leave like this so suddenly is not nice I know. But there is an increasing conflict of interest between edit and management and my work ethics do not allow me to be a party to this. As always, transparency is the key word and
I want to share why I am taking this step.
1. The OLM Awards are being used to fulfil the advertising goals of the Group. In fact, we were all part of the meeting where we were told that the award should have gone to LIC despite it not making the cut since it is a large company with many readers as policyholders. In a subsequent mail from the President, I was told that the concern is that LIC has withdrawn all ads to the Outlook Group. I see it as a clear conflict of interest between ad and edit, especially since edit has sincerely worked on the awards in an attempt to make them the most
unbiased awards in the country -- and for which we involved eminent market professionals like Dr R.H. Patil of CCIL and Ravi Narian of NSE.
2. Edit is being blamed for falling circulation. When we were doing 1.5 lakh copies a fortnight there was no sharing of credit with edit by the management. But in the middle of a global downturn when the circulation of a market-linked product like OLM slips, edit is being blamed. I think all of you pull really hard, work sincerely and have re-created a sinking brand to a world class product that OLM is today.
On behalf of all of you comprising this fantastic team as well as personally, I do not accept this blame.
3. There is direct management intrusion into edit now. We are being asked to get our cover stories cleared by the publisher and send our stock picks to Outlook Profit for clearance. I think this is an insult to a team that has proved its worth many times over. I think the Group will be happier with a more pliable editor. I am not that person.
Good luck to you all. And keep in touch -- you guys rock! One last meeting tomorrow at 11? See you.

Warm regards,
Monika Halan
Editor, Outlook Money
8th Floor, NAFED House,
Ashram Crossing
New Delhi -110014

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