L’affaire INX News: Now, peace pipe to be followed with an amicable ‘divorce’
The figure of nine isn’t really working as expected for INX – whether it is INX Media or INX News – at least in context of the core members of the team. The Vir Sanghvi and INX News face-off continues despite the joint statement released, which had suggested that all was well at INX News. However, it turns out that that is not the whole truth. The “amicable resolving of issues in the spirit of goodwill” is more about how smoothly Sanghvi and the Mukerjeas would part ways.
Executives close to the development believe that the move would happen sooner than later. Neither the INX News management nor Sanghvi have offered any comments on this yet. Sources close to both camps assert that the problem runs deeper than the touted delay in the launch of the English news channel NewsX. Some are of the opinion that Sanghvi would still see NewsX through its launch at least, however, others question the rationale, stating that when Sanghvi has to move out, why would he invest that much time and energy on the venture.
Either ways, it is clear that INX News is on the lookout for a new CEO, and Sanghvi, who is still the Editorial Director of Hindustan Times, would be on another task soon. An informed source asserted that Sanghvi had several options that he could look at, varying from heading the expected news channel from Hindustan Times to joining another news organisation to even starting his own venture. Further clarity on this can be expected on a later date.
Irrespective of how things move from here, the team of “nine” that was at the core of the INX Media and INX News top management has lost another member. This team, and the significance of the number nine, was first spoken about by Indrani Mukerjea in April 2007 when she announced the leadership matrix that included Mukerjea herself, Sanghvi, Shankar Narayan as Group Director - Finance, Arun Mohan as Group Director - Distribution, Vynsley Fernandes as Group Director - Network Operations and subsequently given the additional responsibility of INX News as COO, and ad filmmaker Dilip Ghosh as Director - Content.
The remaining three portfolios were that of CEO, COO and Legal Head. A COO was never hired; Ajay Sharma was given the charge of legal; Indrani Mukerjea was appointed CEO, and Peter Mukerjea was officially on board as CSO, who was also then appointed Chairman of INX Media.
INX officials had informed in July 2007 that from Editorial Director, Ghosh was subsequently made to look at “in-house content” only. The programming mandate by then was under the direct charge of Indrani Mukerjea. Subsequently, Ghosh exited the company. Sanghvi would be the second member of the core team to move out, but needless to say that unlike Ghosh, his exit has been accompanied by much media play.
And this media play promises to continue for a little while more, keeping INX, its investors and even competition for that matter, significantly busy.
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