Television

Republic TV seeks more involvement in NBA India ahead of AGM

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MUMBAI: It has shaken up the Indian news broadcasting space within just a few months of its existence. Now, Republic TV, co-promoted by Arnab Goswami, is seeking to sweep clean the functioning of an industry body--- the News Broadcasters' Association of India or NBA, which, incidentally, is holding its tenth annual general meeting next week.

Though recently it was inducted into the NBA India as a member, Republic’s Arnab, earlier in May, had dubbed the news outfit as a “cabal” and a “toothless body used for lobbying” by a chosen few people. Republic TV has now urged its concerns on  the alleged “undemocratic” ways of NBA India to be discussed in the next meeting of the industry organization.

In a letter signed by its CEO Vikas Khanchandani and addressed to NBA India secretary general Annie Thomas, Republic TV has expressed that it would like to be an active participant in the process of addressing and finding solutions for the news broadcasters’ collective concerns.

However, it has pointed out that a couple of governance practices in NBA India’s charter are preventing it being an active participant, labelling them as quite “undemocratic."

Amongst these is the provision that allows for seven “permanent” members.  Republic TV's  assertions --- “this may have been necessary in the early stages of the association, but maintaining a continued preferential even today is unjustified” --- could very well set the cat amongst the pigeons if the note to NBA India is discussed at next week’s AGM and an amicable solution is not arrived at.

The second objection of Republic TV is a provision that the NBA India board has been given powers to “induct up to two permanent directors with the affirmative vote of all the permanent directors voting in that meeting.” The letter, reviewed by Indiantelevision.com, states, “This is an arbitrary power and needs to change with the new realities.”

Another rule, which it believes is restrictive, is the requirement of a six-month membership (before an ordinary general meeting), if a member wants to elect a representative to the association’s board. “This effectively keeps a new member like us outside the election process,” Khanchandani’s note points out, making it clear that Republic TV wants to be an office-bearer of NBA India.

Additionally, it has alleged that the election of the NBA India office bearers, including the president, happens more by consensus rather than by an open electoral process, a system that needs an “immediate change."

Republic TV has stated that it would like these “permanent” practices and rules to be updated and made more relevant for today in its letter that has also been marked to the minister for information & broadcasting (MIB), secretary MIB and all NBA India members. Why the letter has been also copied to the government is not clear.

Indiantelevision.com on Friday evening reached out to Joseph to get the NBA viewpoint and she stated that she was not authorized to speak to the media "on these matters." The association’s vice-president and CEO & MD of Times TV Network/Times Global Broadcasting  MK Anand said he was clueless about the Republic TV letter.

Well, this was the news bulletin for today, but keep tuned in as we keep tracking this developing story.

Also Read: "The NBA is a toothless group," says Republic TV's Arnab Goswami

NBA urges BARC not to release Republic TV viewership data until LCN issue is resolved

New NBA member Republic TV wants regional & web players in

Republic TV files contempt petition against Times Group

India Today Group CEO Ashish Bagga resigns

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