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DNA offers Chief Editor’s post to Gautam Adhikari, Times makes matching counter-offer

16-June-2005
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DNA offers Chief Editor’s post to Gautam Adhikari, Times makes matching counter-offer

The big position at Daily News and Analysis (DNA) might finally see an incumbent. After putting its board of senior editors in place sometime back, DNA is looking to bring in The Times of India’s Gautam Adhikari as Chief Editor. Adhikari, Executive Editor of The Times of India in the mid-90s, was recently brought in from Washington as Consulting Editor for TOI. When contacted by exchange4media, Adhikari said, “Yes, we are talking, but I have not signed any papers yet nor have I said yes to anybody.”

While sources in DNA claim – off the record -- that Adhikari is joining them, hectic efforts are on by TOI to retain Adhikari. It is reliably learnt that Vijay Jindal, Principal Secretary & member of the Bennett, Coleman board, and right-hand man of Sameer Jain and Vineet Jain, has been sent to Delhi from Mumbai to talk to Adhikari. It is reliably learnt from informed sources in Times Group that the Jains are making a “serious and matching counter-offer to retain Adhikari”.

At the time of filing this despatch, Jindal and Adhikari were closeted together over an extended luncheon meeting discussing the counter-offer from Times. It is gathered that the offer from Times is likely to be even better that what DNA has offered Adhikari. Today’s luncheon meeting follows the protracted meeting held last night between Adhikari and the Times bigwigs.

Currently, DNA has Ayaz Memon as editorial head for City and Sports, Khalid Mohammed as head of Media and Entertainment and R Jagannathan as head of Business news. The paper has been looking for a Chief Editor to head all these functions for quite some time now and Adhikari seems to be the end of the search.

Another senior editor who has moved to DNA is Sathya Saran, former editor of Femina. Informed sources in Diligent Media, the company that will publish DNA, disclosed that Roshni Jayakar of Business Today and Malvika Sanghvi of TOI will also be joining the paper soon.

Adhikari began his journalistic career with The Economic Times-Kolkata in 1976. Prior to that, he was with State Bank of India in their International Banking Division. For a brief period he had worked for The Hindu as Special Correspondent before returning to the Times fold.

Adhikari has over the years played a key role in benchmarking TOI’s national and international news coverage with international standards. From 1987-88 he was Resident Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He spent a number of years as TOI's Washington Correspondent starting 1988. From 1992-94 he worked for the World Bank and was a visiting faculty at well-known universities like George Washington University and George Mason University.

He returned to Delhi as Executive Editor of The Times of India in the mid-nineties. After a three-year stint, he went back to Washington in 1997, functioning as a World Bank Consultant and being part of various American think-tanks.

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