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Outlook Money editor quits, citing interference

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Citing interference from the management of the Outlook Group in editorial matters, Monika Halan, the editor of Outlook Money, has resigned.

Halan had been editing the personal finance magazine for the past three years and her letter to her colleagues announcing the resignation has been posted on an internet website. Halan could not be reached on her mobile and a text message sent to her remained unanswered at the time of filing this report.

When contacted, Vinod Mehta, editor-in-chief of the Outlook Group, said: “Monika was a competent editor and I regret her leaving us. We have bare minimum interference from management in our editorial work. You can make out from our magazine. As of any other issues, I will not be able to comment as it is our internal matter.”

However, Mehta added that for him the resignation of Halan was “not a closed chapter”. “It is clear to us that she has made up her mind, but for us the chapter is not closed...,” Mehta told Business Standard.

Outlook Group President Suresh Selveraj refused to comment, saying he doesn’t look after the business publications of the group.

In her letter posted on a website, Halan said that the management of Outlook was blaming her editorial department for the falling circulation of Outlook Money at a time when there was an overall slowdown, and this was not acceptable to her.

“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,” Halan’s letter on the website said. The letter also alleged that the management was using the Outlook Money Awards to meet its advertising targets.

Halan said the editorial was told by the management that the award should have gone to a particular company despite it not making the cut. The management also said that the company concerned has withdrawn all ads to the group.

“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,” Halan said in her letter.

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First Published: Fri, January 16 2009. 00:00 IST