MUMBAI: The churning in the news channels continue. CNBC TV-18's Ashu Dutt, an established anchor on the business channel has called it quits.
When contacted, Dutt refrained from commenting on his exit. Television Eighteen CEO Haresh Chawla, however, said, "Ashu has decided to take on other opportunities and we wish him all the best."
Beyond that Chawla did not say much, trying to downplay Dutt's exit. Industry sources also indicated that Television Eighteen's plans to launch a Hindi business channel, along with CNBC, may also get delayed from the projected launch time of end-2004.
Meanwhile, among his diverse assignments, Ashu has been CEO and director on the Board of Sab TV, business and financial markets anchor and business news consultant to Star News. On the corporate side, he has been a principal and head of the Media and Entertainment Practice for Heidrick & Struggles.
Currently, Dutt is working on three books for Penguin, the subjects focussing on financial markets.
At Star News --- at a time when content was being provided by NDTV--- Dutt spearheaded the conception of a number of business and financial news segments and anchored Star Business News. Interestingly, Dutt was never a full-time employee of TV-18 and was appointed to overlook the editorial for personal finance shows like Insurance, Intelligence, Mutual Fund Investor and Classroom. A contractual agreement with TV 18 gave Dutt the freedom to pursue other businesses.
Industry sources, though, did say that Dutt's exit would be a loss to the business news channel, considering Dutt's experience and cachet in the financial markets.