Guest anchors to discontinue as hosts: Hamid Ansari term to end soon, Rajya Sabha TV readies for transition

As the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice President also becomes the head of Rajya Sabha TV, which was launched in December 2011 during Ansari’s first tenure.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi | Updated: June 20, 2017 4:44 pm
 Hamid Ansari, Vice Presidential polls, BJP, Rajya Sabha TV Vice President Hamid Ansari. (File Photo)

WITH THE Vice-President’s term coming to an end in August, and with little chances of BJP offering Hamid Ansari a third term, the Rajya Sabha TV is preparing for a transition. As the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President of India also becomes the head of Rajya Sabha TV, which was launched in December 2011 during Ansari’s first tenure.

As part of the transition process, four guest anchors — MK Venu, editor of The Wire; Bharat Bhushan, editor of Catch; Govindraj Ethiraj, former editor-in-chief Bloomberg TV India who runs IndiaSpend.com and FactChecker.in; and Urmilesh Singh —were told not to host shows with effect from June 1. Siddharth Vardarajan, editor of The Wire, anchored a weekly show, but informed the RSTV in April that he would no longer be able to anchor it, and his last interview was telecast on April 7. Each of the journalists held weekly shows on topics such as foreign and security policies, media and business news. These shows are now being hosted by RSTV’s in-house anchors.

Speaking about the change, Gurdeep Singh Sappal, CEO, editor-in-chief and founder of RSTV, said the decision was taken as part of “forward planning”, keeping in mind the transition in August. Sappal said, “The next chairman of Rajya Sabha will decide the character and objective of the channel.”

Sappal said though the guest anchors have been told to discontinue hosting, he has ‘developed in-house capacity to run the channel in an objective way’. On his role, Sappal said, he had to develop a “certain work ethic”. “No other public broadcaster has done what we’ve done,” he said on the objectivity of panel discussions on the channel.

Journalist Venu called it a “winding-up process”. Ethiraj, who hosted a show called Policy Watch, said he was aware of the developments for over a year-and-a-half now. “There is a new team that will take over,” he said.

To keep a check on the objectivity of the channel-especially after the leadership change-the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, P J Kurien of Congress, reconstituted the content advisory committee for RSTV last month.

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  1. A
    ashok
    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm
    Swapan Dasgupta and Ashok Malik could be brought in.
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      Venkatraman Shenoy
      Jun 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm
      Dear Sappal ji, I was pleasantly surprised to read about the unceremonious dismissal of five of the "top guest anchors" from the panel. The news has come NOT A DAY TOO SOON! It says that you you have run the channel with "objectivity". I strongly disagree with you. It was quite literally run as an appendage of 10 Janpath! As the CEO of the channel, you had a responsibility towards the viewers, who expected the channel to stick to truth and facts but you have badly let them down. Recently, I was shocked to learn that M.K.Venu was being paid an astronomical sum of Rs.32 lac for his worthless programmes, which were mostly anti-Modi. Venu's "forecasts" about the collapse of the economy post-demonetisation had hurt a large number of viewers of your channel, because most of what he said were lies. Mr.Bharat Bhushan too had an agenda about India's foreign policy, which made him conduct every programme of his with an anti-Modi bias.Another one, who too needs to be "shifted" is Ms.Amrita Rai.
      Reply
      1. H
        Harendra Pal Singh
        Jun 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm
        I agree
        Reply
        1. S
          Sarangarajan Narasimhan
          Jun 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm
          Very well put, indeed. This channel was nothing but an 'HMV', and worse, continued to be loyal to the Queen even after she was unceremoniously sent ng. I cannot wait to see its next avatar, and that could not have come sooner.
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          sri.s
          Jun 20, 2017 at 10:04 am
          So he was chairman of RStv!!! That is way too many if not all commie congi stooges were in there.
          Reply
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            Abu Fitna
            Jun 20, 2017 at 9:55 am
            Who watches the frigging TV? Money wasted on ventures to promote a few chamchas.
            Reply
            1. S
              Suraj
              Jun 20, 2017 at 8:44 am
              There goes the neutrality of that channel...Sad. I was wondering how much longer would the Rajya Sabha TV be able to go on being neutral towards issues and show the viewer an unbiased narrative.The government of the day dint take long too long to spring into action. One more channel bites the dust.
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              1. R
                Rohan
                Jun 20, 2017 at 9:47 am
                Oh... Vadraraj and Venu are unbiased journalists. One who is a communist, anti India, anti Army and also published calling COAS as Dyer. The other Venu is a Radia Tape accused and is a yes man of 10 Janpath. ALl these are extreme Left and you call it neutrality. Bite your dust in China freako, thats where u MF's are needed
                Reply
                1. S
                  Suraj
                  Jun 20, 2017 at 10:12 am
                  I was talking about the channel itself and not any one individual journalist you . And thank you for making my point for me. Aur army tere baap ka nahi hain .
                2. R
                  Rohan
                  Jun 20, 2017 at 9:48 am
                  And this is the same channel which makes anti Hindu remarks, pro Islamist, pro terrorist, pro triple talaq, called Tarek Fateh an iSI agent... Bstrd... and you sc um bag teching India neutrality. Go to China or Pakistan and try abusing India from there dolt
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                    Manu
                    Jun 20, 2017 at 10:54 am
                    Absolutely true Bro! The only nationalist and patriotic TV channel these days is Zee network. Please watch Zee Hindustan every morning to get a glimpse of Shakha where the most patriotic Indians (Sorry Hindus) are born. Where every problem in India is first compared with Pakistan and all the happenings in prevailing Ramrajya are presented as they are without any chamchafication
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                      THATHAMAN
                      Jun 20, 2017 at 9:22 pm
                      IN ADDITION TO ZEE NEWS CHANNELS ALREADY REPUBLIC TV, TIMES NOW TV. INDIA TV ARE TRUE MODI BHAKTH AND PATRIOTIC AND NATIONALIST CHANEELS . WHO NEEDS RSTV?
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                    IslamForFoools
                    Jun 20, 2017 at 8:29 am
                    Thank lord Rama, this bearded brainless moron is going away. Thu on his cutpiece Life
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                      vs
                      Jun 20, 2017 at 7:59 am
                      Good riddance. This chap ansari was more a Muslim than an Indian and that too VP.Many a times his statements and actions have been very communal ,anti Hindu and anti India.Don't understand why was he allowed to continue for this long?As for RSTV better to shut this anti India TV channel.All the anchors are anti Hindu , anti india congressis.
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