Sorry, I've been so snowed in with work that I really haven't had the time to post anything here. Anyway, this little item of news has been doing the rounds for quite a while - but of late I get asked this question by the strangest people. My answer is that I have no freaking clue what Vir is doing. But why is this question doing the rounds so much?
Ever since Vir was bumped up in HT to Editorial Director there has been this constant rumour that he will leave. But then he headed EchTee's foray into Bombay, which was backed by the monies raised from the poor sods who bought HT Media stock and Kumar helping his aunt out a bit with lots of advertsing support. People who've seen EchTee Bombay would agree that it is a rather mediocre product, I won't call it bad - but business and entertainment coverage borders on the awfully unintelligent. And then there is the fact that Vir could not save Avirook from a maelstrom. We still don't know what exactly happened, but let us drop that.
Anyway, the earlier rumour was that EchTee and EyeTee would see a straight swap at the top - God took over the reins at EchTee House and Vir at F14/15. But EchTee just got a new Boss (and God is God-like as ever), for better or for worse. I still don't know what to make of the few bylined stories of CK - how is the trader in Karol Bagh worried about his shop being shut down care about the British Foreign Secy I do not know and even the lamest idiot will tell you that people have forgotten simple page layout skills - and crazy stories are being carried - the worst in the section run by my former bureau-mates - have you seen HT's Business Section - I hate to say it but Times' business section is possibly the best business section in a mainline - by a country mile or hundred.
Anyway, the latest rumour - and I must admit that this is fairly unconfirmed and comes from idle gossip at Dilli O'Dilli at the Habitat is that Vir is going Counterpoint and all to Times - where ToI will pay him not to be in HT. Since Bennett's new business model seems to be hiring journalists all over the place just to suck up the market - look at ET (where however competent journalists are rarely to be found) this would not be implausible. Pay Vir a huge amount of money (the rumours of Vir leaving 19-20 KG Marg stem from the fact that CK and RN have been brought in from abroad with gazillions of rupees every month, much more than the man and Vir doesn't get a SUV, which he wouldn't drive anyway).
Anyways, thats the rumour, now I'll go back into hiding for a few more days because I've got some amazingly insane deadlines to meet.