Niira Radia and media: M K Venu

Transcripts of Niira Radia’s conversation with M K Venu, managing editorial, the Financial Express. (Venu was with the Economic Times when the conservation was taped.)

M.K. Venu: You saw Rohini’s story. It has come today.

Niira Radia: No, I haven’t seen it. I’m going to see it now. I finished at 1.30 in the night.

MK: But it’s all tucked away. You’re also keeping Manoj Modi’s timings. 2 o’ clock!

NR: It’s tucked away, is it?

MK: Yeah, but in ET you can’t miss it. It is the inside page but it’s the top half, the lead story of the page.

NR: You know this one, Ganapathy has been chasing me but I don’t want to give it to him. I have a letter from the Andhra chief minister.

MK: Hmm.

NR: I don’t want to give it to him, I am scared to give it and find the story killed. What do you think I should do? He has given a scathing attack. He has written to the PM.

MK: The Andhra CM. Two years ago, he used to sing Anil Ambani’s tune. It is a very strong letter, yaar.

NR: Kya karoon yaar. I don’t want it tucked away.

MK: Objective advice. Isko aise akhbar ko do jo isko lead flyer carry kare. Isko CNBC ko do. Then these people will be adequately provoked. If CNBC carries it as a lead 10 times a day, then everyone will start running helter skelter. If I was the editor, Rohini’s story was a clean Page 1, top half, like a lead story. Do you think a letter to the MD is possible? Broadly saying that we congratulate the launch of ET Now and then you can raise this issue that there is this raging controversy that is of national interest and we hope you can take which is, you know, which is in keeping with what Y.S.R. Reddy has written. Aisa karke you should lagao one.

NR: How is Prabhakar Sinha in Times?

MK: My information is that he and his brother Arun Kumar are retainers on the other side. About Arun Kumar, I am quite sure. He and Sandeep Bamzai used to be so openly partisan. I met Shekhar Bhatia at dinner, he used to be executive editor then, he told Sandeep Bamzai ki kam se kam ek hafta to chhod do. At least three to six months, you don’t plug him. This is what Shekhar Bhatia told him publicly.

NR: Yes, I don’t blame him. I met Sukumar and Sanjoy Narayan.

MK: That Sanjoy Narayan has an old friendship with that Tony (Jesudasan), na?
They have some great common interests.

(Courtesy: Outlook)

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