Senior journalist and NDTV’s Group Editor Sreenivasan Jain resigned from his post on Saturday ending a three-decade association with the national news channel. The move comes after the recent Adani takeover of the company in November 2022.
Jain announced his resignation on his official Twitter page amid allegations of fraud on the Adani Group by US-based Hindenburg Research.
“Hi all. An amazing, nearly three-decade-long run at NDTV comes to an end today. The decision to resign wasn’t easy, but .. it is what it is. More later,” he tweeted.
Jain’s resignation comes months after former senior NDTV India journalist Ravish Kumar resigned from his post in November.
Jain began working with NDTV in 1995. Over the years, he covered various prominent national and international news reports and conducted interviews with many eminent personalities and politicians. Jain hosted the weekly show Truth vs Hype on NDV 24×7. He was also the Mumbai bureau chief from 2003-2008 and was briefly the Managing Editor of NDTV’s business channel ‘Profit’.
Adani’s NDTV takeover:
On November 30, 2022, the Adani group gained full control of NDTV after it acquired most of the founders — Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy’s — stakes at a premium of almost 17 percent over the rate it paid to minority shareholders of the firm.
Though the takeover happened in November, the official announcement took place on August 23. Gautam Adani used RRPR Holdings Private Limited, a company that was founded by the Roys and bears their initials in its name, to buy 27.26 percent shares from Prannoy and Radhika Roy at a price of Rs 342.65 per share.
Adani Group first acquired Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL), a little-known company that had given Rs 403 crore of an interest-free loan to RRPR Holdings in 2009-10 in exchange for warrants that allowed it to buy a stake in the newsgroup at any time. Adani group exercised those rights in August this year, which NDTV said was done without its consent.
The national news channel came out strongly condemning the decision taken without any discussions or consent with the Roys.
“The NDTV founders and the Company would like to make it clear that this exercise of rights by VCPL was executed without any input from, conversation with, or consent of the NDTV founders, who, like NDTV, have been made aware of this exercise of rights only today. As recently as yesterday, NDTV had informed the stock exchanges that there was no change in the shareholding of its founders,” the statement from NDTV said then.
As Adani formally took over the company on November 30, 2022, Prannoy and Radhika Roy submitted their resignation from the board of directors, even after claims by Gautam Adani that he had requested the Roys to continue serving as the network’s chair in an interview with the British daily Financial Times.
“Why can’t you support one media house to become independent and have a global footprint?” In the interview, Adani makes the comment that there isn’t a single news source in India that can be compared to outlets like the Financial Times or Al Jazeera.
He claims that his conglomerate’s investment in establishing a global media organisation will be “negligible.”
The board also appointed Sanjay Pugalia and Senthil Chengalvarayan as directors on the RRPRH board with immediate effect.
A day after Roy’s resignation, on November 30, 2022, NDTV received another blow with one of its most significant members – senior journalist Ravish Kumar from NDTV Hindi – announcing his disassociation with the company with immediate effect.
Announcing his resignation through his official Youtube channel an emotional but composed Ravish said that the ecosystem and atmosphere for journalism are being destroyed.
“At this time, I don’t want to say anything about my organisation,” Kumar said. “Because when one is emotional, one is not objective. I have spent 26-27 years in NDTV. A journey like that has many ups and downs.”
Ravish Kumar’s resignation took the Twitter world by storm as many journalists and opposition political parties expressed their concern over the future of NDTV.
Ravish Kumar regularly reports on his Youtube channel – Ravish Kumar Official – on the current political situation and trends in the country. His team had recently covered Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo yatra in New Delhi. The yatra has reached its last leg – Jammu and Kashmir.