NDTV Adani shapes up after Roys leave

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By S Jha

New Delhi, November 29: Coup against NDTV is now complete, as Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy quit the board of the television channel, which pioneered the visual media in the country. Gautam Adani has said that he wants to make NDTV into an international channel on the lines of Al Jazeera.

Roys were financially crippled, which paved a series of financial events in which they lost control of NDTV, which they had founded. On the way, NDTV had lost most of the anchors, who gained fame because of the channel. Prannoy Roy gave the Indian television new faces and flair, beginning with his election analysis for the Doordarshan.

Sanjay Pugalia, Sudipta Bhattacharya and Senthil Sinniah have been appointed directors on the board of NDTV. Pugalia will be spearheading NDTV, and a large number of journalists from the television channel are likely to quit, which may also include the celebrity anchor Ravish Kumar and the consulting editor Nidhi Razdan. NDTV was seen adversarial to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre.

Adani Group has seen most its listed companies becoming multibaggers in the last few years, which in turn made Gautam Adani fastest man to the club of the richest men. He may bring in cash in the television channel and carry out a makeover. NDTV had been financially struggling, and scores of journalists had quit the channel in the last few years on account of the cost cutting drive. NDTV had also apparently asked its reporters to adopt mobile journalism after it axed several camera persons. NDTV was struggling on new contents, and the television channel promoted commentaries and discussions to cover for the lack of the resources for news breaks.

Indian television channels are seen to be in a bad shape, with most of them having become cockfight studios, where shrill meter runs hot to drive their TRP ratings. Some of the top names in the television news are financially struggling and are on the verge of collapse. They are severely compromising on the quality contents and for lack of resources on the ground they are opting for an overdose of comment based programmes, while chasing TRP ratings. It is not immediately clear if Prannoy Roy would again try his hand with television channels. Some of his pupils from the NDTV studio have launched their own digital ventures and are seen to be doing well.

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