Multiple award winning TV journalist, and one of the nation’s most talented broadcast journalists, Deji Bademosi, has resigned his appointment with Channels Television over what sources described as “irreconcilable differences” with the Chairman of the station, John Momoh.
Mr. Bademosi, who was Head of the television’s Political Desk, tweeted on Friday that he had quit his position at the station.
“My time with Channels Television has now ended. Looking to new challenges,” Mr. Bademosi, a Mass Communication graduate from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, tweeted on Friday evening.
Both Mr. Bademosi and CHANNELS are reluctant to speak on the resignation of a reporter who won several laurels for self and station.
When contacted on the phone Saturday, Mr. Bademosi, who was also Channels TV’s Head of Reportorial Team, said he’d rather not talk about the matter.
“I can only confirm that I resigned on Friday,” he said. “I don’t want to say anything more because I remain grateful to CHANNELS for providing me the platform to showcase my skills.”
Mr. Momoh too confirmed the reporter’s departure. ”What’s wrong with someone resigning? Mr. Momoh told PREMIUM TIMES. “He’s tired of working here and has gone on to something else. It’s okay.”
Sources, however, say that the relationship between Mr. Bademosi, who had spent almost a decade at the organization, and Mr. Momoh has strained lately.
It was gathered that the last straw was when the management issued a directive, earlier in the week, that editors must get approval from Mr. Momoh, before assigning reporters to any assignment.
“The management ruled that editors must contact the chairman wherever he is in the world before assigning reporters to any assignment,” a highly placed official told PREMIUM TIMES.
“Things haven’t been rosy between him and the Channels management,” another source said.
"Before then, what led to the memo was a clash between the chairman and Deji.
“Deji had assigned a reporter to go and cover a PDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) press conference in Ogun State,” the source added.
The press briefing was organized by the Bayo Dayo faction of the PDP, who are at loggerheads with the group led by former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
“While at the assignment, the personal assistant to the chairman called the reporter and asked him to leave the assignment and return to the office.
“The reporter refused,” the source said.
However, after the story, which had been approved by Mr. Bademosi and the controller of news, had been lined up in the bulletin for broadcast; the chairman’s assistant showed up again.
“The PA said that the chairman directed that the tape of the assignment be handed over to him, but they (Mr. Bademosi and the controller of news) refused.
“The chairman then personally came down and ordered that the tape be given to him. He confiscated the tape.
“Deji said that he could not work in an environment where editors do not have powers and must get approval from the chairman before any event is covered,” said the source, who added that Mr. Momoh attends editorial meeting and talks to editors “like babies.”
Mr. Momoh declined to comment on his directive that editors must seek his approval before detailing reporters to cover events.
“I think you should contact the director of news on that,” he said. ”I am the chairman of the company. I think you need to talk to the controller of news on that.”
But when one of the station’s two controller of news, Ambrose Okoh, was contacted, he denied knowledge of Mr. Bademosi’s resignation and the controversial directive by Mr. Momoh.
“I don’t have details of what you are talking about,” he said. “Come to the office on Monday so we can talk about it.”
Before his resignation, Mr. Bademosi anchored one of the most popular programmes on the station, ‘Politics Today’.