On the lines of a cooperative society, 10 TV was launched with public funding in March 2013. This first cooperative news channel in Telugu could gather more than Rs.70 crore from more than 1.5 lakh shareholders, including teachers, agricultural labourers, daily wage workers and employees affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
CPI (M) cadre and its labour wing leaders presented a rosy picture about the ‘people’s channel’ to their sympathizers and general public and collected this money with a missionary zeal but the channel is not in a position to pay salaries to its employees on time!
“We are in the grip of frustration due to the delayed salaries. Some senior employees get their salaries in the last week of the month. Majority of us lost our heart to give our best for this wonderful channel,” a senior journalist rued requesting the channel management to deposit their salaries at least by the fifth of every month. Do you know the name of the owner?
Mr.Tammineni Veerabhadram, Secretary of Telangana CPI (M), is acting as the proprietor of the public channel for all practical purposes and the channel is full of party sympathizers and left-leaning journalists. The good news is, 10 TV secured fourth position in news segment in Week-20 ratings released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) of India. It is not an easy thing to be in top-5 in the highly competitive Telugu news market and the red brigade deserves applause for this achievement. But, the real issue here is not the encouraging rating but timely salaries!
“We stand at 4 or 5 every week and the time we allocate for advertisement is not too bad. But, we are not getting salaries on time. The irony is that the Communist leaders are behaving like pakka capitalists by leaving basic trade union rules to the winds,” another analyst observed.
Apparently disillusioned by the “macro economic theories” of the Communist leaders, the 10 TV chairman Prof.K.Nageshwar joined the rival HM-TV even as the founding Channel Head Arun Sagar was shown the door following some internal bickering. A TV-9 product, Arun Sagar later joined as Editor of TV-5 but passed away recently due to ill-health.