Shivnath Thukral, who was till recently managing editor of the business channel NDTV Profit, before being named business editor for all NDTV channels early in September, resigned on Saturday. His next destination is unclear. “I am leaving NDTV and moving on to a new phase of my career,” he wrote in an email to colleagues.
Thukral joined NDTV straight out of college and rose to become business editor and adviser, strategy during a 14-year stint. While Thukral earned a reputation for business reporting, his stint at the helm of NDTV Profit coincided with difficult times for the channel, which lost marketshare and many staffers to new entrants in the business news broadcasting space.
As on last Thursday, NDTV Profit had a marketshare of 14% in the metro markets (CS 25+yrs), while new entrant ET Now had 18%, Bloomberg-UTV had 21% and CNBC TV18 had a 46% share, according to data from TAM Media Research.
NDTV is yet to decide on a leadership replacement at NDTV Profit, but was in the process of doing so, group CEO K.V.L. Narayan Rao told contentSutra.
Thukral’s is a rare high-profile exit from NDTV, a legacy broadcaster that has managed to retain most key staffers over the years. Known faces such as Barkha Dutt, Vikram Chandra, Sonia Singh, Srinivasan Jain, Nidhi Razdan, Vishnu Som and Amitabh Revi, apart from several senior journalists, have been with the channel for over a decade, a longevity that’s becoming rare in a fast-changing media landscape.
Interestingly, the last two high-profile exits from NDTV were Rajdeep Sardesai and Arnab Goswami, both of whom left to set up rival news operations that have taken away from NDTV’s leadership position, even though more players has also meant an expansion of the news broadcasting market. Sardesai set up CNN IBN for Raghav Bahl’s Network18 Group, while Goswami set up Times Now for Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
We spoke to several people at NDTV and are getting the sense that a replacement for Thukral will come from within.