Was the Shekhar Gupta - India Today association a mismatch?

Was the Shekhar Gupta - India Today association a mismatch?
Was the Shekhar Gupta - India Today association a mismatch?
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The News Minute| September 1, 2014| 3.30 pm IST

It’s only been two months since former Editor-in-Chief of Indian Express Shekhar Gupta joined the India Today group as its Editor-in-Chief. But looks like the stint was short-lived.

In a press release issued by the media group, Aroon Purie, Chairman of India Today group today announced that Shekhar Gupta will now be Editorial Advisor to the India Today Group. Purie will resume responsibilities of the Editor-in-Chief.

Aroon Purie says, “Shekhar has spent the last two months getting to know the organization, and we him. After much thought and discussion, we have decided to restructure our arrangement to our mutual benefit.”

The new designations according to Purie will enable Gupta to pursue “his creative and entrepreneurial interests.”

Gupta’s weekly column ‘National Interest’ will continue to be published along with other long form articles, which he will write exclusively for the magazine.

Many reasons are being attributed to Shekhar Gupta’s sudden change in role.

Sources in India Today Group say that the main reason for the change was the friction between Shekhar Gupta and Kalli Purie, daughter of Aroon Purie and COO of the group. “Kalli Purie has been chairing most editorial meets lately and the disagreement has been brewing for a while. The group should have known that someone of Shekhar Gupta's stature would oppose editorial interference,” said a source.

It was reported that even when Shekhar Gupta was in negotiations to enter the group, he had voiced concerns about Kalli Purie’s influence on editorial decisions, and was subsequently assured that he would have control over the editorial process. But it seems things blew up quite quickly.

There were also differences of opinion regarding stories and content churned out by Gupta and team. Sources say that one of the stories carried by the India Today Magazine under Shekhar Gupta’s watch regarding a prototype of the Pragati missile being transported to South Korea without security during the UPA’s tenure was dismissed by the DRDO as false.

“There was disagreement over some stories including the missile one and maybe that has triggered off this decision,” added another source.

Scroll.in reports that there were also rumours that Gupta had been working to launch a broadsheet newspaper that would not entirely be owned by the India Today group.

It is unclear whether senior journalists who had moved from Indian Express to the India Today Group with Shekhar Gupta will continue in their positions. These journalists were in charge of covering coveted beats like defense, PMO, MEA, BJP and HRD.

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