Rahul Shivshankar, the Chief Editor of Times Now, has quit the channel, newslaundry reported.
The news anchor has updated his Twitter bio to “editor-in-chief Times Now, 2016 to 2023”. His bio also reads that he's a "Progressive Conservative Journalist".
In an internal communication sent to the employees, the human resources department of the channel stated, “Rahul Shivshankar, editor-in-chief, Times Now, has decided to part ways with the network. In view of this, with immediate effect the operations of the channel will be under the charge of Navika Kumar, group editor. All operating content managers of the Times Now team will consequently report to Navika.”
Having resigned as the editor-in-chief of NewsX, Shivshankar joined the channel in 2016 and became a prominent figure hosting the primetime 8 PM show on Times Now. With over two decades of experience in the news industry, he has also served with Headlines Today and India Today.
Rivalry between Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar
Navika Kumar and Rahul Shiv Shankar had an enduring rivalry that permeated the newsroom at Times Now. Journalists from the channel revealed the existence of two factions, aligned with each journalist. With Navika shifting her focus to the Hindi channel Times Navbharat, Rahul found a temporary respite. However, Navika continued to hold the ultimate authority. The reason behind Rahul's resignation remains an enigma, but additional information may surface in the forthcoming days, shedding light on the matter.
Viral 'McAdams' gaffe
A video of a debate from Shivshankar's show went viral during a debate on Russia-Ukraine war when he berated a guest for more than a minute live on air, only to later realise that he was shouting at the wrong person.
Shivshankar was conducting a debate on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. His guests included Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, and Bohdan Nahaylo, chief editor of Kyiv Post.
At one point during the show, Shivshankar asked "Daniel McAdams" to "just take a bit of a chill pill". He then tells "Mr McAdams" to "get off the fence and put boots on the ground" if he is so concerned about the Ukraine "lecturing us in India". The anchor then goes on to rant against "Mr McAdams".
Meanwhile, the real Mr McAdams, who was continuously trying to make himself heard, finally bursts out. "Dear host, I have not said a word yet. I don't know why you're yelling at me," he said. "I'm not yelling at you. I'm talking about Mr McAdams," replied Shivshankar. "I am Mr McAdams! I am Mr McAdams and I haven't said a word, so stop yelling at me!" the guest shouted. The embarrassed anchor then apologised and said he got confused.
Shivshankar's departure raises questions
As news of Rahul Shivshankar's departure from the Times Now surfaced, speculations began to take over social media websites. Journalist Rohini Singh took to Twitter to claim that major changes were "sweeping through Noida channels". She also hinted that Shivshankar had been sacked.
However, at the time of this report being filed, there was no clarity on whether Shivshankar had resigned voluntarily or was sacked by the channel.
A few days back, another popular prime time anchor Rubika Liyaqat had also quit ABP news.