New Delhi : NDTV group editor Barkha Dutt, one of India’s best-known television journalists, is stepping down from her full-time position at the broadcaster, to set up a media company.
She will continue as consulting editor and work on setting up her own media company and policy group. She will continue hosting two shows that she currently does at the channel—the daily Buck Stops Here and the weekly We The People.
“Barkha Dutt was only 23 when she joined NDTV as a young reporter cum producer… Now twenty years later we wish her all the very best as she embarks on yet another role with us. Barkha will be moving to the role of Consulting Editor… While her TV relationship with NDTV remains unchanged, in her new role she will be setting up her own multimedia content company and policy group,” NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy wrote in a company-wide email this afternoon.
Dutt is an award-winning journalist who has been the face of NDTV as it went from a content producer for Doordarshan to a vast media company. She has reported from conflict zones and is well known for her news shows. Her name was embroiled in the Niira Radia tapes controversy. However, Dutt defended herself at the time saying she was making a promise she never intended to keep. NDTV also stood by her, holding a special show where she was allowed to take questions from Manu Joseph, the editor of Open magazine, which had published transcripts of the case.
People familiar with the developments said the high-profile journalist’s move to a consulting role has been in the works for a while and first came to the fore when she had spoken with CNN-IBN–a rival news channel–for a similar role that would allow her to pursue other interests while continuing her work on television. In July, that channel’s editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai had quit, setting off a churn in leadership roles there. Sardesai’s departure came after CNN-IBN’s parent company, Network18, was taken over by entities controlled by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.