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Siddharth Varadarajan quits as Editor of The Hindu as owners patch up

Arun Anant is no longer the CEO. N Ravi is Editor-in-Chief while Malini Parthasarathy is Editor of The Hindu. N Ram continues as Chairman and Publisher of The Hindu and Group publications, and N Murali is Co-Chairman of the company

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 22, 2013

Siddharth Varadarajan

In a sudden development, which is seen as a fallout of the family drama among the owners of The Hindu, Siddharth Varadarajan has quit the English newspaper as its Editor. Announcing the decision on Twitter, Varadarajan wrote: “With The Hindu’s owners deciding to revert to being a family run and edited newspaper, I am resigning from The Hindu with immediate effect.”

It may be recalled that in May 2011, the shareholders of Kasturi and Sons Ltd, the publishers of The Hindu newspaper, held an extraordinary general meeting and voted to appoint Varadarajan as The Hindu’s Editor on the recommendation of the company’s board, thus making Varadarajan the first professional editor of the newspaper in its 135-year history. Prior to his appointment, The Hindu’s editors were drawn from the family of the company’s owners.

According to the informed sources, the family members of the owners of Kasturi and Sons Ltd have now patched up their differences and decided to bring back editorial control within the family. Thus, Varadarajan and other editors roped in by former editor and family member N Ram at the height of the dispute have become scapegoats with Ram patching up with N Ravi and Malini Parthararathy.

Followed by today’s meeting, the board decided to hand over the role of Editor-in-Chief to N Ravi while Malini Parthasarathy has been appointed Editor of The Hindu. N Ram would remain Director of Kasturi and Sons Ltd and continue as Chairman and Publisher, with N Murali as Co-chairman. Also, Arun Anant is no longer Chief Executive Officer of Kasturi & Sons Ltd.

A statement issued by N Ram defended the board’s decision. He said: “The decision to make deep-going changes was made chiefly on the ground that there were recurrent violations and defiance of the framework of the institution’s longstanding values on the business side, and recurrent violations and defiance of ‘Living Our Values’, the mandatory Code of Editorial Values, applicable to The Hindu. The whole effort is to restore employee morale, good industrial relations, and the trust of this newspaper’s more than two million readers.”

“The existing editorial arrangements for Business Line, Frontline, Sportstar, and The Hindu (Tamil) will continue unchanged and the process of professionalisation, now involving a mix of shareholder-Directors and other professionals, will continue. The 135-year-old institution reaffirms its commitment to its core editorial and business values, and excellence in journalism,” assured Ram.

Varadarajan had joined The Hindu as deputy editor. He worked as The Hindu’s Chief of National Bureau, succeeding Harish Khare, who was named Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Media Adviser in June 2009.

After studying economics at the London School of Economics and Columbia University, USA, Varadarajan taught at New York University for several years before joining The Times of India as an editorial writer in 1995.

Also read: Interview: Siddharth Varadarajan, on why he stepped down as Editor of The Hindu

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