Radia controlled salaries of NewsX - The New Indian Express

Radia controlled salaries of NewsX

Published: 20th December 2010 03:36 AM

Last Updated: 16th May 2012 02:39 PM

NEW DELHI: The latest Niira Radia tapes revelations, released by a weekly, shows how she held control over salaries in the TV channel NewsX, headed by a high profile editor-owner Jehangir Pocha.  Radia, a high profile PR  consultant who runs Vaishnavi Communications, not only lobbied for her high profile corporate  clients -- Tata Group headed by  Ratan Tata and Reliance Industries by Mukesh Ambani to secure 2G spectrum -- influenced editors and journalists to manage media by luring them with exclusive information.  Radia used many editors to influence public perceptions and as well as to carry messages in the corridors of power.

Conversation emerging from Radia tapes showed so far how she focused on lobbying, manipulation, subversion and media  management.  But Radia's conversation with Pocha shows she mattered a lot when it came to payment of salaries to employees of the NewsX, including that of its editor -- Jehangir Pocha.  In his conversation with Radia, Pocha sounds desperate for funds needed by the channel for payment as salaries, according to a conversation recorded by the  Income Tax Department on  May 29, 2009.

“Listen, we have a big problem here. Our salaries are due, but money has not come in yet”, Jehangir Pocha tells Radia, according to the transcript of the conversation put out by Outlook  magazine.  As Pocha insists to hurry up the payments, Radia give him assurance over salaries issue. Not to give up, Pocha tells how (May 29) is already Friday and the channel needs fund to disburse salaries.

“Listen to me, na. Today is Friday. Even if it comes (on Monday) we have to issue our own money and cheques.” Pocha heads NewsX -a 24-hour news channel that was launched on the March 28, 2008, by the INX Network, which was then headed by Indrani Mukerjea.  The NewsX is India’s first HDTV enabled channel. On January 9, 2009, the NewsX had been purchased by Indi-Media Network, a partnership between the NaiDunia CEO Vinay Chhajlani and former Businessworld editor Jehangir Pochaa.

The cover story also featured several exclusive transcripts between Niira Radia and Sunil Arora, former chairman of the Air India,  R K Chandolia, former private secretary to former Telecom Minister A Raja, Tarun Das, former CII chief, Ranjan Bhattacharya, foster son-in law of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Vir Sanghvi, senior journalist, and N K Singh, former high profile bureaucrat.

The Radia tapes controversy relates to the taped and released telephonic conversations between Niira Radia, a professional lobbyist and politicians, corporates and industrialists, officials, bureaucrats, aides and journalists that were taped by the Income Tax  Department in 2008-09.

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