Winds of change blowing in Kerala TV media

Thiruvananthapuram: Winds of change are blowing through the Kerala media houses where hectic chopping and churning are happening in leading TV channels.

It all began last month when the head of Media One TV channel, Rajiv Devaraj decided to quit.

Soon came the news that the head of the Mathrubhumi TV channel - Unni Balakrishnan is quitting and his place was being taken by Devaraj.

Devaraj had earlier headed News18 and when he left to join Media One, his place was taken by Pradeep Pillai, who had earlier worked at Malayala Manorama, New Indian Express, Times Now at lower levels. Pillai now heads News18.

When all this was happening Pramod who was anchoring a few prime programmes at the MMTV (Malayala Manorama group) put in his papers and was heading to take over from Devaraj at Media One.

Even as that change sunk in, came the news that Manoj K. Das, the chief at the Mathrubhumi news paper (the second largest circulated Malayalam daily) has stepped down and might be heading to lead TV channel -- Asianet.

The 'young' Das has already headed newspapers like New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle, Times of India and Mathrubhumi. He earlier had one stint at Asianet TV at a junior post.

On Thursday, Das becoming the group head of Asianet was confirmed, with M.G. Radhakrishnan putting in his papers as present head at Asianet TV.

A top media critic on condition of anonymity said this merry go round is not a recent phenomenon and it happens at intervals.

"Kerala has around a dozen TV channels and in the past two decades, this merry go round has happened at repeated intervals. Why this happens is because the advertisement pie for Kerala TV channels is very limited and owners of TV channels feels the pinch, when ratings drop and they need to find scapegoats and it's the chief who will have to face the music. Very rarely does a chief gets booted out for 'political' reasons," said the critic.

All over changes in the organisation with new bosses was expected.



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