Vikram Chandra has stepped down as Group CEO of NDTV to focus on the journalistic side of things. KVL Narayan Rao, who currently serves as Executive Vice Chairperson at NDTV, will replace him as Group CEO.
Announcing his decision, he tweeted, “Stepping down as Group CEO of NDTV. Will now be Consulting Editor, so can focus on my TV shows and other areas of interest.”
“You cannot manage both,” he told exchange4media, referring to business and editorial responsibilities, further stating that he would focus on journalism and anchoring going forward.
“I was appointed CEO in 2011 and my mandate was to lead the transition of NDTV towards being digital first. That was supposed to be done in three years and it is five years now. The digital businesses are doing really well,” he told us.
Rumors have been rife recently that Chandra would be putting down his papers though when contacted by exchange4media on Saturday, he had denied these rumors, stating, ““These speculations keep happening every day.”
Chandra is an old warhorse at NDTV. He joined the organisation in 1991 and has played a critical role in cementing its position among the top news broadcasters in the country. Besides being a prominent television face, Chandra has spearheaded NDTV’s online operations since a long time. Chandra was appointed the group CEO in 2011 for three years, further extended by another two years.
He is the anchor of the Big Fight, Gadget Guru and 9 o'clock news and has also been associated with NDTV initiatives like Cleanathon, Save our Tigers etc.
The last few years have been a bit tumultuous for NDTV. Known for sombre coverage, the channel has often lost out in the ratings war to Times Now’s high decibel reportage. Barkha Dutt, arguably the most popular journalist from NDTV, has also moved from a full-time position to the role of Consulting Editor.
The company has also been facing allegations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation. BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi pleading for a probe in the entire matter by Enforcement Directorate.
(With additional reporting by Saif Ahmed Khan)