DD News plan dumped after Swaraj says no

NEW DELHI: The much-touted revival of Doordarshan's News channel has finally been put on the backburner.

According to sources in Prasar Bharati, which oversees the functioning of DD and All India Radio, the plan of reviving the defunct DD News has been "buried" for the time being. Although the official reason being bandied about is that "reviving DD News was more of a media wish," the real reason seems to be that the information and broadcasting ministry (read minister Sushma Swaraj) put her foot down on any such move. 

However, it is also a fact that both the chief executive and director-general of DD had said on record that Prasar Bharati was considering a revival of DD News. So much so, that a tentative date for the re-launch (DD's birthday on 15 September) too had been zeroed down upon.

DD News was started over two years ago with much fanfare during Pramod Mahajan's tenure as the I&B minister. The channel was closed down almost 18 months later on 26 January, 2002 on the ground that it had become a money guzzler.

Meanwhile, with the influx of new recruits at DD, who now do most of the anchoring and reporting on the news front, the pubcaster may see the exit of some senior people, including its main anchor Rahul Dev, a former resident editor of Jansatta, who has also spent time at satellite Hindi news channel Aaj Tak. According to the market buzz Dev has opened up talks with a private satellite news channel.

However, Prasar Bharati insiders insist that the newcomers at DD are still raw and may not be able to adequately do half-hour current affairs shows or newsfeatures at the moment.

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