Is he there or is he not? Speculation has been rife for almost three weeks that Sumon Chattopadhyay, Editor of Kolkata TV, is moving out following differences with the management. Chattopadhyay is currently on long leave, is the stock response from the channel, while he himself has been incommunicado. Sources in the know, however, claim that he has decided to put in his papers.
When contacted, Santanu Ghosh, Chairman, Xenitis Group, refused to directly deny or confirm the market buzz. Chattopadhyay is on “extended leave, and is vacationing”, is all he said.
Kolkata TV is a 24-hour dedicated Bengali news channel from SST Media Pvt Ltd, part of the Kolkata-based Xenitis Group of Aamar PC fame. The channel was officially launched in March 2006.
It may be recalled that prior to joining Kolkata TV, Chattopadhyay was in charge of the editorial content of the Bengali news channel STAR Ananda, launched by Media Content & Communications Services India (MCCS), a 74:26 joint venture between ABP TV and STAR Group. Before that he was Executive Editor (News) of the widely circulated Bengali daily ‘Ananda Bazar Patrika’.
In less than three months of its launch, Kolkata TV has emerged as the second most popular Bengali news channel owing to its coverage of the West Bengal Assembly elections in April and May this year.
Off the record, Xenitis officials acknowledge that there is a “restructuring” exercise underway to bring about “optimal utilisation” of manpower. It is learnt that Chattopadhyay has had differences with the management on this restructuring.
It is also being speculated that Chattopadhyay is negotiating with the DD Bangla Service, but there is no confirmation on this.