Sitting in his
seventh floor sparsely furnished office at the Videocon Towers in
the busy Central-West area of Delhi, Uday Shankar, the 30-something
news director of TV Today Network (part of The India Group) is a
busy man, though he'd like to give the impression he is not sweating
under the collar of his well starched white shirt. Probably, he
doesn't even have time to look down at the rooftops with dish antennas
and glimpses of the busy traffic through the wide-glassed windows.
As one is ushered into his room where Shankar apologises for
the TV monitor that is not behaving properly that day as it keeps
flickering off and on. Then comes the honest admission, "I am sorry
to have kept you waiting for so many days (for the interviews).
These days, I literally live in the office and only return home
to grab some home food and few winks of sleep between noon and 2
One can understand the reason for Shankar's punishing schedule.
Media baron Aroon Purie (owner of The ITG), TV Today Network chief
executive officer G Krishnan, marketing head Rajesh Seshadri and
news director Shankar (who is a former print medium journalist Times
of India), form the core team of the company that is hell bent on
re-writing few chapters in the annals of Indian television's history
of the development of the news and current affairs category.
Having also done a stint at Zee News and Sahara, a media shy
and, at times, reticent Shankar talks to indiantelevision.com's
Anjan Mitra on the prospect of the new English news
channel in the pipeline (tentative name News Today) , Aaj Tak, competition
and, of course, the poaching to which Aaj Tak had been exposed to.