Television

Aaj Tak lures back three who switched to DD

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NEW DELHI: The Empire strikes back? Seems so. And with a vengeance too as news market leader Aaj Tak lures back people to its fold.

Among the three prodigals - if they can be dubbed so, though Aaj Tak feels they are - doing a homecoming of sorts are Kartikey Sharma and Rahul Chowdhry. The three had followed former Aaj Tak political editor Deepak Chaurasia to Doordarshan News some months back.

Contacted by indiantelevision.com, sources in Prasar Bharati, which manages Doordarshan and All India Radio, confirmed the developments saying, three persons from DD News have "put in their papers."

Are all the three joining back Aaj Tak from April? Though no official response from the channel was forthcoming, sources there indicated that it was happening "as all those who want to return could be considered again." The three concerned, however, could not be contacted for any comments, though it is learnt that they are going back on the assurance of a better pay package.

The aforementioned three from Aaj Tak had joined DD News amidst lot of publicity, but, as a senior Prasar Bharati official put it, their exit too is likely to put a question mark on whether such people, looking at the slightest of better opportunities, could be depended upon on a long-term basis. The three concerned persons stint at DD News lasted barely three months.

After Chaurasias exit from Aaj Tak, the channel and its management did a lot of soul searching whether attempts should be made to retain existing employees by matching pay packages being offered by others to them.

The first indication of a change of heart in the management policy came when TV Today Network (parent company for Aaj Tak and Headlines Today)s distribution head, Amitabh Srivastava, quit and re-joined (almost before he'd left) on a fatter salary. Subsequently, the company gave salary hikes ranging between 40 to 80 per cent almost across the board to its employees.

One of the reasons being cited for this was to stop further outflow from Aaj Tak before the general election, which is a big event for a news channel.

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