CAIRO: Shortly after joining Al-Wafd opposition party, popular talk show host Amr Adib denied quitting Orbit Satellite TV and Radio networks to work for Al-Hayat TV channels, owned by businessman and Al-Wafd head Al-Sayed Al-Badawy.
On Tuesday night, Al-Badawy said in an interview with Dream TV’s talk show “Al-Ashera Masa’an” that Adib had signed a contract with Al-Hayat and that he will start a new show as of January 2011.
Adib denied this news in a telephone interview with the host of the same show Moha El-Shazly on Wednesday.
“Yes I joined Al-Wafd party today … to politically participate in a major party … but at the same time I’m not going [to work for] Al-Hayat,” Adib told El-Shazly.
“I’m staying at Orbit until further notice,” he added.
According to Adib, he agreed with Al-Badawy earlier in 2009 that he would work for Al-Hayat channels.
However, he later changed his mind after Orbit recently encountered a crisis with the Media Production City that led to shutting down the network’s studios.
“At that time, I told Al-Badawy that I have to continue with my channel … and he respected my decision,” Adib said.
“I can’t leave my channel at the time of distress … It is the channel that made me,” he added.
“I will only leave Orbit if they fire me. Otherwise, I’m staying.”
Adib said he has no intentions to run in the upcoming People’s Assembly (PA) elections due in November.
Earlier in September, the Media Production City shut down the studios of Orbit after the network reportedly failed to meet its financial obligations, bringing all live broadcasts to a halt.
When Orbit’s studios were closed, many interpreted the move as a political one targeting the popular and outspoken TV show “Al-Qahera Al-Youm” (Cairo Today) hosted by Adib.
Adib, however, refuted such interpretations, insisting that no one can interfere with his show’s content.
Adib has joined Al-Wafd party at the time when prominent figures like poet Ahmed Fouad Negm resigned from the party, partially in response to Al-Badawy’s alleged involvement in the current crisis of daily independent Al-Dostor newspaper.
The outspoken chief editor of Al-Dostor, Ibrahim Eissa, was fired after Al-Badawy bought the paper.
“Al-Dostor was a private business owned by Al-Badawy that had nothing to do with Al-Wafd,” Al-Wafd secretary general Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour told Daily News Egypt.
“Al-Wafd as political party must not be involved in this issue. This has been the party’s stance since Al-Badawy bought Al-Dostor [in August],” he added.
Al-Badawy sold his share in Al-Dostor earlier last week to the other co-owner Reda Edward, who is allegedly the main initiator of the current crisis between the sacked newspaper’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Eissa and the staff on the one hand and the management on the other.
Political science professor Eglal Rafaat resigned this week from her position as the assistant secretary general, but kept her membership in Al-Wafd.
She said in press statements following her resignation that she disagreed with some of Al-Badawy’s views including the party’s decision to run in the PA elections.
Rafaat’s resignation was preceded by that of Sameh Makram Ebdeid’s, another assistant secretary general, who objected to Al-Badawy’s attempts to alter the party’s policies and secular ideologies.