Less than a week after Reliance Industries Limited took over Network 18 group, IBN News Network editor-in-chief and one of Indian television's most prominent faces, Rajdeep Sardesai, will go on long leave from Tuesday.
His wife and deputy editor at CNN- IBN Sagarika Ghose too will go on leave. There is a question mark over whether they will return.
HT had reported last week that the current editorial leadership of IBN was worried about the implications of direct corporate ownership on editorial autonomy.
There is also uncertainty and worry among journalists who are unclear about the future direction of the news organisation and their own prospects.
Sardesai, it is understood, will begin writing a book on elections soon. It is learnt that news operations will be led by managing editor Vinay Tewari and news director Radhakrishnan Nair
In one of the biggest deals in the media industry, Mukesh Ambani-controlled RIL on Thursday said it will acquire control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd.
The board of RIL approved funding of up to Rs. 4,000 crore to Independent Media Trust (IMT), of which RIL is the sole beneficiary, for acquisition of control in Network 18 and its subsidiaries, the company said in a statement.
Two senior executives on Network 18, B.Sai Kumar, CEO, and Ajay Chacko, COO, had recently resigned. CNN-IBN international affairs editor Suhasini Haidar is set to join The Hindu.
Network18 has a significant presence in news and entertainment channels, movie production, print media and also digital--both e-commerce and content.
NW18 is also the owner of IBNLive.com, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Cricketnext.in, Homeshop18.com, Bookmyshow.com; the broadcast channels include Colors, CNN-IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz.