Saad Mohseni

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Saad Mohseni is the chairman of Moby Group, Afghanistan’s preëminent media company.

"“Saad is the nexus of everything going through Kabul,” Tom Freston, a co-founder of MTV and a member of Moby’s board, says. “Besides the television business, he knows every foreign correspondent.” Mohseni collects business cards compulsively, placing them in the clear plastic sleeves of a loose-leaf book. “He’s a great networker,” Freston continues. “He’s got this contagious personality.”

"Mohseni’s company owns Tolo TV and Arman radio, the country’s most popular TV and radio networks. It also owns a music-recording company, a second TV network, an advertising agency, a television and movie production company, the magazine Afghan Scene, and two Internet cafés. Next month, it expects to launch Tolo News, a twenty-four-hour satellite news channel. In 2009, it partnered with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to create the Farsi1 satellite network, which packages entertainment programs in Dubai and beams them from England into Iran...

"Mohseni owns and manages the company with his brothers, Zaid and Jahid, and his sister, Wajma, but he serves as the company’s public face. “Saad is the talker in the family,” Jahid Mohseni says. “He’s a great salesman. He can sell without anyone thinking he’s selling.”

"The charm, though, is not universal. Mohseni has a contentious relationship with Karzai, whom he once supported. When Richard Holbrooke served as chairman of the Asia Society, in New York, he invited Karzai to speak at the society, and he asked Freston to deliver an introduction. Backstage before the event, Freston recalls, he told the President that he was friendly with Mohseni. Karzai growled, “He’s a good businessman, I guess, but he puts the Taliban on television. He does bad things on the media.”

"That exchange, Holbrooke said, “told me that Saad was not just another free-media guy, a very attractive, charismatic entrepreneur. He was deeply, deeply involved in a political drama with President Karzai.”..

"The American investment banker Joseph Ravitch, a friend of Mohseni, says that he is ultimately a “mix of capitalist and do-gooder."" [1]

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  1. The Networker: Afghanistan’s first media mogul, newyorker, accessed November 20, 2010.