Television

Three senior Aaj Tak staffers quit; two to join DD

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NEW DELHI: At a time when India's No. 1 news channel, Aaj Tak, has breached the 40 per cent-mark channel share amongst news channels at prime time on weekends, it has once again become a victim of poaching.



This time the organisation on the prowl is India's pubcaster Doordarshan.



Two of the three senior Aaj Tak staffers, who have quit, will be joining forces at DD with former colleague Deepak Chaurasia, who is the consulting editor at DD News.



The people who have left Aaj Tak for DD News are senior producer Sanjiv Paliwal and assignment in-charge Rajnish Ahuja. Sources in both Aaj Tak and Doordarshan confirmed the development.



The third person, Ajit Anjum, would be joining BAG Films, promoted by Anurradha Prasad and her Member of Parliament husband, Rajiv Shukla.



"We have also settled the accounts of the three and wish them luck in their new endeavour," a senior executive of Aaj Tak told indiantelevision.com today.



Paliwal and Ahuja are slated to formally join DD News by the end of this month. While the former would join India's pubcaster as output editor-cum-anchor, the latter would be the assignment editor.



This is not the first time that poachers have stalked Aaj Tak. Early this year, when NDTV's content contract for Star News came to an end and Prannoy Roy decided to start his own channels in Hindi and English, he had lured away some big names from Aaj Tak like Dibang, Naghma, Sipta Deb and Poonya Prasoon Bajpai.



Meanwhile, TAM data for the week ended 1 November shows that Aaj Tak, which had shed some percentage of channel share, is regaining lost ground.



According to the data, the channel share at prime time (6-11 pm) for Aaj Tak on weekends is 43 per cent, while on weekdays, it is 38 per cent. If the overall weekend day is taken, then also Aaj Tak is leading with 39 per cent channel share (up from 36 per cent), followed by Star News (20 per cent), NDTV India (17 per cent) and Zee News (15 per cent).



The TAM data also shows that all days channel share of Aaj Tak is 37 per cent and is followed by Star News (21 per cent), Zee News (18 per cent) and NDTV India (17 per cent).

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