B I Saini, special DG News All India Radio (AIR) is tipped to take over as the new DG News from today, replacing Harish Awasthy who retires on June 30. Awasthy has been holding the dual charge of DG News AIR, Doordarshan.
Saini an officer of Indian Information Service takes over the reins of AIR's News Division at a time when it faces acute shortage of staff. Against 60 posts of editors for news-room and reporting, there are only about 30 of them on the rolls. While of late news bulletins have increased, the staff strength has actually gone down.
In fact the AIR has been running its News Division with the help of casuals editions and even the regulars have been working overtime without their weekly offs. The new DG News faces the task of further revamping the News Division that has been playing increasing role in the popularity of FM1 and FM2channels. The programmes like 'Market Mantra', 'Sports Scan' and 'GoodMorning Bharat', produced by the News Division have gained considerable audience.
Meanwhile Harish Awasthy will not be replaced by anyone in Doordarshan. Officially, there's only the post of DDG (News) in Doordarshan. The post of DG News Doordarshan was specially created for Awasthy by the erstwhile Prasar Bharati CEO, SS Gill with the idea of creating a common News pool. The move had however created a lot of controversy. After Gill's exit, the post of DG News Doordarshan was abolished.
Awasthy during his last tenure as DG News AIR was recently given additional charge of Doordarshan News by the Prasar Bharati Board. Now after Awasthy's departure, the present DDG (News) Swagat Ghosh will be the over all in-charge of Doordarshan News.