Producing India’s first weekly show covering international affairs, “The World This Week”, in 1988, Pranoy and Radhika Roy had a clear vision that would set New Delhi Television apart from its peers for many decades.
At a time when public trust for TV news media erodes every day and news coverage becomes increasingly inflammatory, warranted or not, NDTV has managed to maintain credibility far better than its peers.
However, on Wednesday morning, Pranoy and Radhika Roy, resigned from the NDTV Board of Directors after handing over 99.5 per cent of their holdings, RRPR to ports, to power conglomerate Adani, likely ending an era for the Delhi based news channel.
Synonymous with brand
With Radhika Roy handling production and editorial decisions behind the scenes, Pranoy Roy was the most visible face for NDTV.
Initially starting out as a private production firm, NDTV produced shows such as The World This Week, Good Morning India and The News Hour for Doordarshan. Pranoy Roy anchored these news bulletins, thus becoming synonymous with the NDTV brand in public consciousness.
Live election coverage, which is now an established institution for most TV news programming also began with NDTV, helmed by the Roys. Bringing the first election special, live coverage of the 1989 Indian general elections, NDTV shows for budget and elections became mainstays for Doordarshan in the 90s.
In a span of 40 years, NDTV has evolved from a production house to a separate news channel that has produced some of the country’s finest and most famous journalists, of whom a few now helm shows on the most incendiary and biased news channels.
Esteemed journalists on both sides of the political spectrum, including the likes of Barkha Dutt, Suhasini Haider, Arnab Goswami and many more, can trace their roots to NDTV.
Offer to Pranoy
While billionaire Gautam Adani had expressed the desire to let Pranoy Roy continue to lead the channel, the resignation of the Roys acts as a repudiation of the fact that the journalistic style for NDTV will likely change under Adani.
The husband and wife duo continue to hold a 33.2 per cent stake in NDTV, and work in the organisation as journalists.
Meanwhile, Adani’s share in NDTV, with RRPR stake and shares already tendered through an open offer, is at 40 per cent. However as the open offer picks up steam, Adani picking a majority stake is not outside the realm of possibility.
“The end of things... The final darkness descends on Indian TV media NDTV.., the last bastion falls. From today morning there will just be one channel in India with various names,” said a Twitter user.
“Whatever your views on NDTV, it is undeniable that the institution had a great impact on Indian democracy for at least three decades. I was (like most 90s kids) introduced to TV journalism by reporters at NDTV,” another journalist noted on Twitter.