Vishweshwar Bhat, the popular yet controversial editor of Vijaya Karnataka, the mass-circulation Kannada daily owned by The Times of India group, has resigned.
Bhat’s decision was announced to his staff this afternoon after a meeting with ToI chief executive officer Ravi Dhariwal and chief marketing officer Rahul Kansal who had flown down to Bangalore.
Bhat confirmed the resignation to churumuri.com, adding that, although he had no negative feelings for the company, he had begun to feel “slightly uncomfortable” in the last few months.
“I decided to quit when things were all right,” he said.
There is no word how long his name will appear on the imprintline or who his replacement is likely to be, although there is a rumour that E. Raghavan, who retired as editor of the Economic Times editions in the south and currently edits the Kannada weekend broadsheet Vijaya Next, may fill the breach.
The charitable version for the exit is that Bhat, who took over the reins of the paper 10 years ago, wanted a three-year sabbatical to go abroad and study which the Jains, who picked up the paper from Vijay Sankeshwar of the logistics company VRL four years ago, were disclined to give.
Bhat says he intends to pursue higher education now that he has been freed of his commitments, although the buzz is he may join a soon-to-be-started Kannada news channel. The no-compete clause in Sankeshwar’s deal with Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd also ends next year opening up new possibilities on the Kannada media map.
However, the press club gossip is less than charitable. This version has it that Bhat had reached the end of the long rope that had been extended him, during which period the paper veered overtly to the right, attracting the ire of Muslims, Dalits and Christians.
In a petition earlier this year, when Bhat was nominated for an honorary doctorate, the Karnataka chapter of Transparency International dashed off a petition, accusing the editor of being “primarily responsible for instigating and fuelling communal hatred by regularly publishing extremely volatile and offensive articles and editorials.”
Recent surveys also showed that Vijaya Karnataka‘s readership and circulation were moving southwards, to the discomfiture of the bosses, necessitating the change of guard.
All things considered, to Bhat goes the credit of turning a fledgling daily into a market leader and opinion maker, overtaking the 60-year-old Praja Vani from the Deccan Herald group in next to no time with a series of innovations and reader-friendly initiatives.
The prolific Bhat churned out a weekly Sunday diary, a Saturday media column, a Thursday edit-page piece, and wrote on a range of issues each week, besides regularly publishing books, compilations and translations. There was no inkling of the coming end even in Wednesday’s paper which carries a tribute by Bhat on page 7.
Bhat’s resignation is the third reorganisation exercise undertaken by VPL president Sunil Rajshekhar after shutting down The Times of India Kannada edition and launching Vijaya Next.
Also read: Bhat in a flap over honorary doctorate
Is the management responsible for content too?
A blank editorial, a black editorial & a footnote
External reading: That’s Kannada.com
its, horrific to even imagine that a fair, resonable, noble, no- nonsense, straight forward person has quit with disgust should not have happened. I have stopped purchasing the paper from 10th dec. without knowing that he has quit, just coz, the editorial & other articles r bull shit. shame on u
He wanted to stop karnataka to turn up as Bihar, Wherein Bihar is in the verge of becoming Karnataka. Thanks to politbureocrats & useless politicions. Kudos Yeddy
The decision of resigning is his personal issue,I think there is no need of any protest or anything of that sort.Someone messaged me that Mr.Bhat was sacked from his post.Please know the difference between QUITTING or RESIGNING & DISMISSING or SACKING and then comment.No hard feelings.
Hi, Its true.. there is no place for good people who are doing really good work nowadays…
I guess he might have quitted this job, or made him to quit due to dirty politics.., and his sharp writings against them..
No doubt in karnataka transforming into position that earlier bihar was in.. & no one will dare to expose this as Mr.Bhat have did..
This is really disappointing..
Politicians might have felt happy… shame on dirty politicians…
really disappointing…i expect something great step by him..
YES HE WAS SACKED. HIS DEAL OF RS 5 CRORE WITH YEDDY TO NOT
TO PUBLISH AGAINST HIS GOVERNMENT PROVED HIM COSTLY. SOMEONE FROM
BJP RECORDED HIS CONVERSATION RELATED TO RS 5 CRORE DEAL AND SENT
TO TOI HEAD OFFICE. THEREFORE HE WAS GIVEN GATE PASS.
It was Expected.Soon Some more will follow Bhat’s path.
…so freshness lost..no more wainting for the paper…may god bless him.
He was the best editor in Kannada and brought freshness and something new to kannada journalisim.. I am regular reader of Vijaya karnataka. I miss him and good luck to him
You R Inspiration for US. All the best for Ur new venture. We love you
Vijaya karnataka loses almost 50% of reders for sure…. no matter if VK sacked or himself resigned…
I AM A SUBSCRIBER OF VIJAYA KARNATAKA FROM DAY ONE.NOW WITHOUT MR.BHAT I CANNOT IMAGINE VK.
there is a limit to anything. mrbhat has no ethics in jurno.mr bhat even overstepped to misinterprete court order to manipulate the mass psyche. it is better to have some break and learn to have balanced appraoch. lust of money, made mr bhat to use it as a debitcard,goodluck
Some more have followed vb, what happened to them, is there anything which is hidden?
Vijay Karnataka has sacked itself!
Now karnataka people will be peaceful, after this man goes out, who spoiled life so many poeple. He was very cunning and always tried to push his hidden agenda….
YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT RADIA GATE. WHAT ABOUT CORRUPTION IN KARNATAKA MEDIA. JUST FOUR OR FIVE PEOPLE FROM TIMES GROUP PUBLICATION SWINDLED MORE THAN 50 CRORE RUPESS IN A YEAR OR TWO.WHY OUTLOOK OR OPEN ARE NOT OPENING EYES ON THIS…
This is Good News. But has simply created lot of issues against BJP government, He is basic responsible for creating un helathy political situation in Karnataka. He has made crores of rupees. He has got huge land near to NICE road.
Hope all corupt r happy to see his exit. God save our karnataka. Fair people will never survive. What will happen to common persons when big heads roll so easily. C’mon responsible educated kannadigas pl. fight this unfairness muted to Mr.Bhat. Shame on yoU TOI
It is good to here that Bhat is sacked finally. He used Vijaya Karnataka to promote communalism and misused it for personal benifit. He was never be a journalist…. Hats off to Times of India administration for roght decition.
Miss Pratibha do you want to become journalist? who are you speak against Mr Bhat.Then give interview to times group and show your talent. Let me see….
we will miss Vishweshwar bhat. No more interested in
this is very bad worst news for all vk readers best of luck
to mr bhat sir
Truth is always truth.. its bitter. isn’t it ? Shame on
TOI’s Journalism bureaucracy..
VERY DISGUSTING TO HEAR MR.BHAT QUITING VK……… NO
INTEREST IN READING VK AGAIN …. THE NEWS PAPER AS BECOME BORING
WITHOUT HIS ARTICLES…
cant imagine vk without vbhat and pratap sinha.
I too cant imagine..but it is good for the society that they are out..
It is unfortunate that vbhat quit out of vk. It is his editorship which gave new dimension to vk. vk has lost admirable v. His writeups, vakratundokthi, ever green in the minds. In kannada jorrnalism TSR’s(choo bana in prajavani),vb’s vakratundokthi in vk are ever remembered. Suddi mane ishtondu suddi madatte anta nireekshisiralilla……
It is very unjust comparison with TSR. You people are yet to understand VBhta and what happened in VK. sorry Mr.Raghavendra.
i can’t read vijayakarnataka without vishwewara bhat
Its very disappointing….. very soon Vijaya karnataka
administration will come to know the value of Mr.Bhat. I wish you
all the Best Sir.
V.BHHAT ra maththu PRATAP SIMHA ra Articles barade irodanna gamanisidde. naananthu nirjeevavaagibittiddene. Eradu kannannu kaledukonda anubhavavagtha ide.
vijaya karnataka lost 50% reader. Because V.Bhat is the main filler of VK
its tooo sad imagining vk without bhat is horrible
It is very bad development i can’t read Vijaya Karnataka without vbhat articles
its horrible …….very bad happened with v all VK
readers…….now no value for VK at all,Can anybody believe dat he
can envolve in such a scadnal,?……no he cannot…. he was the
power of a public….. Cannot imagine VK withougt prathap simha
sirs articles and vishveshwar sirs articles…..VK has got no life
anymore…now if it has got any life means its only bcoz of
‘paraagha sparsha’ article. sir v all r waiting 2 watch ur ahead
step in journalism…… sir wonderful future is awaiting for
u….. wishing u all d best for next step in journalism….. v r
all with u alwayzzzzz
very very sad..i can’t read without VB and Pratap Simha
Mr V Bhat is a creative editor of vK.it’s huge loss to Vijaya karnataka. Bhat is the main key to development of VK….Don’t Worry But u have a bright future…… All THE BEST FOR YOUR FUTURE…..WE MISS U BHAT
NO INTEREST IN READING VK. I SWITCHED TO OTHER NEWS PAPER. EVEN THE NEW ARTICLES ARE CRAP..!!
2day only i came to know that vb has resigned, without vb n prathap simha, der is nothing good to read in vk. times group should think again, iam stopping reading vk from 2day onwards
without bhat, vijaya karnataka is just another daily newspaper.
v.bhatt v miss u
a news paper which has recieved recognition,love all over india especially in coastal karnataka inspite of the monopoly of the local newas paper that time…is vijaya karnataka.It was not an easy job to turn the readers but ,vishweshwar sir has done that beautifully..if vijaya karnataka has got more number of readers here its only because of him,pratap simha..the news is really shocking to me…but hats off to you sir..looking forward for your new adventure.and a request …dont leave your fans
We cannot even imagine VK without V.Bhat & Pratap Simha,I appreciate their st.forward,daring,mind blowing articles against shameless politicians.Iam confidence that wherever V.Bhat goes,he will again shine @ bring new charisma to concerned field.
We stopped reading kannada news paper. VK was good.But without V.Bhat and other people like Radhakrishna Bhadti, etc. Vk lost all its charm.This development is a great loss to Kannada Media and irreperable damage for VK.
SHAME ON THE MANGEMENT OF TIMES OF INDIA. THIS CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE TME OF INDIA GROUP IS PRO CONGRES & THEY ONLY WANT PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT CONGRESS.
MR.VISHVESHWARABHAT WAS SUCH A GOOD EDITOR WITH GOOD IDEAOLOGY & FORESIGHT. HE BROUGHT THE PAPER TO TOP IN ENTIRE KARNATAKA.
AFTER MR. RAGHAVAN HAS TAKEN OVER I AM SEEING ALL GOOD ARTICLES HAVE GONE THERE IS LOT OF SPELLING MISTAKES, THE PAPER IS BECOMING WORST , I THINK I WILL BE STOPPING BUYING THIS PAPER
srigandha yelle iddaru adu tanna kampannu hora susade iruvudilla hage, dhiryavantaru,budivantaru,vicharavantaru,mattu neetivantaru.yavude vicharagalige tammanu mari kolluvudilla,Ihope its a good time to esablish ur ideas and do your work with out any preassure.
piz dont disapoint. we are all there with you.
NO matter whether he is sacked or quit.
We enjoyed his writings, his style, his knowledge, his way of thinking , prathap simhas patriotism through his articles,his style, the sharpness is subject heading.
Who want the new paper to read just the dirty idiots politicians.
IT IS GREAT BLOW TO V.K.QUITTING VBHAT.WITHOUT VBHAT/PSHIMA UR PAPER IS LIKE TISSUE PAPER.IAM REGULAR READER FROM THE DAY ONE,I CANT DIGEST THIS SHOCKING NEWS OF QUIT MR.V.BHAT.BUT I CAN SEE THE NEWSPAPER DIFFERENCE VERY POOR QUALITY NEWS IT IS ALMOST TISSUE PAPER OF BATH ROOM.YOU CAN GET HUNDRED NEWS PAPER BUT NOT ONE WONDERFUL EDITOR LIKE MR.V.BHAT HIS ARCTICLS ARE HIGLY KNOWLEDGEABLE MOST CREATIVE.WITHOUT BHAT UR NEWS PAPER IS ZERO.MANAGEMENT SHOULD CHANGE HIS FOOLISH DECISION & MADNESS.IAM ALREADY STOPED THIS TISSUE PAPER.
congrats KANNADA PRABHA YOU HAVE TAKEN SUPERB CATCH OF MR.VBHAT.IT IS GREAT NEWS.UR NEWS PAPER WILL FLURISH & YOU WILL GET LAKHS OF LAKHS READERS LIKE ME MY BEST WISHES TO MR.& MOST RESPECTED EDITOR VESVESWARA BHAT FOR NEW ASSIGNMENT.