Television

More Network18 senior management to exit as Reliance begins to take full control

MUMBAI: Black Wednesday. Network18 employees must be quite bewildered by the happenings of 28 May 2014. First came the announcement that group CEO B. Sai Kumar had decided to call it a day after 14 years of nurturing and growing it along with Raghav Bahl and Haresh Chawla. Then came the news that even COO Ajay Chacko had decided to bolt for the door.

 

But this is just the tip of the iceberg, according to sources. Apparently, a senior management exodus is likely to hit the group over the next few days.  The group today issued a release  on the BSE stating that CFO RDS  Binni Bawa has already tendered in his resignation.  Among those who are tipped to follow  include : senior vice-president corporate affairs and company secretary Anil Srivastava and group general  counsel Kshipra Jatana. 

 

Their departure is a precursor to the biggest announcement that is likely to come out: that of the exit of founding/controlling shareholder & managing director Raghav Bahl.

 

Whether leading journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Senthil Chengalvaryan, Sheeren Bhan, amongst others would quit  the Network18 group or not is not known at the time of writing. Though speculation is running rife that this will also come to pass in the next few days.  However, insiders insist that Sardesai is believed to have assured the team of CNNIBN journalists at an internal meeting at CNNIBN a couple of days ago that "he would be staying and that things are only going to get better from now on."

 

No one from the company was available for comment, despite several attempts by indiantelevision.com journalists.

 

Apparently, the entire exercise is part of Reliance Industries getting into the driver’s seat at the Network18 group. The former is likely to make an announcement to buy out Raghav Bahl's equity stake, followed by a offer to the public, in order to take a controlling stake in Network18

 

Says a media observer: “These changes are happening at a time when Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)  has in recent times plumped up on media heavyweight media executives. It has lured away Zee Media Corp Ltd CEO Alok  Agrawal, senior journalists Gautam Chikermane, BV Rao and Rohit Bansal. Speculation is that this exodus is taking place as a precursor to Reliance taking over the management and control  of the group.”

 

No one from Reliance Industries was also available for comment either, at the time of filing this report. Spokesperson Tushar Pania said he would send a formal statement as soon as possible. 

 

It may be recollected that Bahl had sought the help of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani to bail out Network18 when its debt had ballooned beyond manageable proportions a couple of years ago. Ambani had extended a loan through a trust to Bahl’s companies that held the Network18 stake. That loan was used to pare down the group’s debt and also acquire the ETV channels. But it also left open the door for Ambani to wholly take over the Network18 group at a  later stage, though the commitment had been made that Bahl and the team would be left alone to manage it.

 

Sources indicate that RIL has been pushing  Bahl to cede control of the management over the past few months and he seems to have finally consented. 

 

(updated on 30 May 8 am)

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/25/Broadcast-India-Show-2016_3.jpg?itok=7prYSZ_7
The Indian broadcast & film industry poised to redefine creativity at Broadcast India Show 2016

MUMBAI: Saicom Trade Fairs & Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd. is pleased to announce The Broadcast India Show 2016 to be hosted at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (E) in Mumbai, India from 20 -22 October 2016.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/25/tv-kids.jpg?itok=fnHNdtOS
Turner appoints Eric Lee to lead its LBE business

MUMBAI: Turner Asia Pacific has appointed Eric Lee as director for Asia Pacific to lead its growing location-based entertainment (LBE) business for the region.

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/25/prannoy-roy.jpg?itok=YS0RtzjB
NDTV launches two new channels on Virgin cable in UK

MUMBAI: New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has launched two channels on UK based telecommunication mass media company Virgin cable.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/25/Crop%20SPN_1.jpg?itok=MGTVItja
SPN India supports India' Paralympian's for Rio 2016 paralympic games

As a catalyst to the cause of empowering India’s sports talent, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has partnered with the GoSports Foundation to identify and support Indian para-athletes across multiple Paralympic disciplines. The support covers high performance training, travel and competition...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/24/Untitled-1_1.jpg?itok=6E8Mzf3f
Sony Le Plex HD launches; destination for acclaimed & blockbuster movie titles

MUMBAI: Movie buffs are in for a treat as folks at Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) have come up with a premium fun hangout place for Hollywood film lovers. Called Sony Le Plex HD, the channel will be a house to not just from mainstream Hollywood movies but also acclaimed movies. With the brand...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/24/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=RpD-T-CL
UCWeb enters into strategic partnership with Colors TV

China based mobile browser company UCWeb has launched its new version in India with a strategic partnership with Viacom18’s Hindi GEC Colors TV for exclusive content.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/23/Untitled-1_35.jpg?itok=_c-EkWh1
Discovery brings new reality-drama series 'Hardcore Pawn'

Pawning is an old practice and pawn shops are a common phenomenon in the USA, where one can get quick and easy cash by pledging (loan) their personal belongings or selling their valuable items. Discovery’s new reality series HARDCORE PAWN takes viewers into the crazy and dynamic world of American...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/23/Untitled-1_17.jpg?itok=vZbblkwZ
&TV's The Voice India Kids gears up for Battles

&TV’s premiere singing reality show The Voice India Kids has gained immense popularity and fan following for its great talent, fun banter between the Coaches and superlative singing. The young voices introduced in BLIND audition have definitely lived up to the motto of “Size kum hai, par dum...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/23/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=jQeeFfSA
Music genre emerges top gainer in HSM: Chrome week 33

With a marked increase of 2 per cent, the music genre emerged as the top gainer in Chrome’s Opportunity to See (OTS) analysis for the Hindi speaking market (HSM).

Television TV Channels Viewership

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories