It was to be a news channel with a difference, but it has been making news rather than reporting it, reports Mail Today.
When Peter Mukerjea left Star TV India to launch a bouquet of channels under the 9x umbrella, media analysts expected him to repeat his phenomenal success at Star Plus.
After a lukewarm launch of the entertainment channel 9x, his next big project NewsX ran into trouble after differences erupted between his wife and group chairperson Indrani Mukerjea and Vir Sanghvi, the news channel head.
Sanghvi resigned on Monday after a bitter boardroom drama triggered by the reported threat of the investors backing the channel to withdraw from the news project because of the delay in its launch.
Indrani, say insiders, accused Sanghvi, who holds 3 per cent of INX News equity in his personal capacity, of misusing company funds on a business trip to Paris. Sanghvi also came under attack because of his lavish entertainment expenses.
And now, his deputy, Avirook Sen, NewsX executive editor, and some other senior appointees have been shown the door. Sen alleges he was manhandled and bundled out of the channel’s Delhi office by security guards and the company’s HR honchos. NewsX sources said Sen has a history of leaving his previous organisations in controversial circumstances.
Indrani told Mail Today, “Every company goes through structural changes. For the sake of 300 people, I had to let five people go.”
Immediately after Sanghvi’s resignation, senior journalists Pradeep Magazine and Seema Chishti also put in their papers.
Narendra Nag, one of the four journalists whose services were terminated, had raised questions about the source of the funds Indrani has invested in NewsX.
INX News has investments from Temasek, New Silk Route Partners, two Kotak investment firms, New Vernon Private Equity Group and Indrani Mukerjea.
On Thursday, Sen and Nag issued damaging statements against NewsX and met information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. The minister immediately issued a statement expressing his concern.
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