Exactly two years to the day after he was ejected as editor of the Bangalore-based newspapers Deccan Herald and Praja Vani, K.N. Shanth Kumar (in picture) has been reinstated on the hot seat of the preeminent Kannada daily published by the family-owned The Printers (Mysore) Limited group.
Shanth Kumar took over from elder brother K.N. Tilak Kumar, who had replaced him at the editorial helm of the two papers in a midnight putsch on 14 February 2007. (The removal had been challenged in the courts and later withdrawn.)
Tilak Kumar, however, continues to remain editor of Deccan Herald.
The return of Shanth Kumar marks a clear but happy division of labour in the warring Netkalappa family. Deccan Herald lost its status of market leader to The Times of India in the late 1990s, and in recent years has had to face stiff competition from newer players like Deccan Chronicle and DNA.
Praja Vani, on the other hand, has managed to claw its way back to the top of the discerning Kannada reader’s mind, although Vijaya Karnataka (now part of the Times Group) continues to be ahead in the numbers game. But there is talk of fresh competition in the form of a Kannada daily from the stable of Rajeev Chandrashekhar of Jupiter Communications, which already has a presence in Karnataka through the Suvarna and Suvarna News Kannada channels.
Photograph: courtesy Facebook
Also read: The inside story of the Deccan Herald coup