CEO Exodus: Is it time to reset the TV news industry?

The inquisitiveness around what lies ahead for the news industry after the 2024 general elections is at its peak following a churn at the top

Niraj Sharma
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MK Anand and Avinash Pandey

MK Anand and Avinash Pandey

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New Delhi: The departure of two prominent CEOs of big news networks – ABP and Times – within a week filled the industry, especially the news broadcast sector, with a significant amount of apprehension.

The inquisitiveness around what lies ahead for the news industry after the 2024 general elections is at its peak with a section of executives worried about the health of the news broadcast industry.

On the other hand, there are many who feel that the news broadcasting industry is using this opportunity to reset and reboot.

After Avinash Pandey hung up his boots ending his two-decade-long stint with the ABP Network last week, broke the news of MK Anand’s term ending with Times Network earlier this week.

Earlier, Varun Kohli had quit Bharat Express as its Director and CEO to join Times Network as COO of the news broadcasting business.

This churn in the news broadcast industry becomes more pertinent in light of digital and CTV getting prominence and advertisers’ unwillingness to spend big bucks despite massive news viewership this elections, opined a former TV executive indicating an undercurrent.

A section of the industry sees such a churn as a result of extreme revenue pressure even in an election year.

“Media outlets whose mainstay is linear broadcasting appear to be on shaky ground. There are a few broadcasters whose significant chunk of revenue is coming from digital with promising double-digit growth. You should not be surprised if there are more such movements,” said another senior television news executive on the condition of anonymity.

A senior executive at a large news network told that a new framework is emerging which offers an opportunity to the industry to reset and reboot for the next five years.

“With this revolving leadership after a long gap, the industry will be induced with a new orientation, new thinking and new breakthroughs. This kind of churn is actually needed at least every four to five years for a healthy industry. Wasn’t television news suffering from a sameness over the past two decades?” said the senior executive.

Despite the fact that the industry is under tremendous pressure to reinvent itself for growth, let me make it clear that no side was eying to get rid of the other, said an industry veteran close to both Anand and Pandey.

“I see this as an inflection point for the news industry. Digital and CTV are expected to deliver more and more growth. Changes at an inflection point imply that the industry is getting ready for the future,” the veteran said.

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