Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Monday named Suresh Chandra Panda, member (personnel), as interim chief executive officer (CEO) at its 137th board meeting, following Jawhar Sircar’s resignation e
Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Monday named Suresh Chandra Panda, member (personnel), as interim chief executive officer (CEO) at its 137th board meeting, following Jawhar Sircar’s resignation earlier this month from the top post.
The board also asked Doordarshan to introduce a revised slot sale policy by next month. Sources said Mr Panda was selected since he was the senior-most member of Prasar Bharati.
The resignation of Mr Sircar, four months before his term ended in February 2017, was accepted by the information and broadcasting ministry on Monday. Mr Panda’s tenure is expected to be short as his retirement is also due in February 2017.
It is learnt that the contenders for the top post at Prasar Bharati are two bureaucrats, former I&B secretary Sunil Arora and environment additional secretary Shashi Shekhar.
Mr Panda, a 1981-batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, has been associated with Prasar Bharati since March 2015. Before that he was special secretary and financial advisor at the home ministry. His appointment comes at a time when broadcaster is planning to auction Doordarshan’s prime time slots to private production houses.
The Prasar Bharati board has been trying to sell prime time slots to private production houses for the past five months and in two rounds of auction without success.
Some production houses had shown interest in the slot sale policy, but none were found eligible to participate in the auction. Under the policy-cleared at a board meeting in May this year-it was decided that Doordarshan would auction slots between 7 pm and 11 pm from Monday to Friday. Producers would provide content in return for a share in advertising revenue. Currently, the national broadcaster commissions programmes under a self-finance mode.