The Rise & Fall of INX Media

22 Aug,2019

 

By A Correspondent

 

Former Home and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, one of the country’s top politicians, was arrested in a dramatic fashion on primetime television on Wednesday evening. The scaling of the entry wall and the camera crew chasing the CBI team to the back gate of the former minister’s home in New Delhi was riveting.

 

Interestingly, it’s the affairs of a media company and the alleged involvement of Chidambaran and his son Karti that saw one of the most high profile and controversial arrests in recent years.

 

Those from the media and entertainment trade would know that INX Media has seen several controversies even before it was set up.

 

First the rise of Indrani Mukerjea. Her INX Services offered HR consulting to Star India when husband Peter was CEO. They married in 2002, and five years later set up INX Media and INX News. INX Media ran two channels – 9X, the general entertainment channel and 9XM, the music channel. News X was the news channel with senior journalist Vir Sanghvi as head.

 

What led to the downfall of INX Media was the failure of the GEC 9X and the news channel being virtually a non-starter despite a state-of-the-art backend. As of to make matters worse for the duo, Viacom18 set up Colors and the GEC rose to the #1 position in less than a year. Rajesh Kamat, the CEO of the channel, worked with Peter Mukerjea at Star, more than a couple of levels junior.

 

There was some indiscriminate spendings reported by the Mukerjeas, and finally, in 2009, on a day before Holi, the duo announced their exit. Soon, the news channel was sold, and the entertainment channel became part of the Zee network, and the music channel became an independent network managed by veteran mediaperson Pradeep Guha. The music network has been in discussions for a sale but with not much success. The Zee Network also pulled out of the stake buy.

 

The controversy around Chidambaran and his son was around a case of money laundering with Indrani Mukerjea turning approver a few months back. The Mukerjeas are currently in jail… but that’s over a more personal matter.

 

Those who know and have worked with Peter Mukerjea can’t believe that he could do any wrong and often blame wife Indrani for the misfortunes of INX Media.

 

Misfortunes not just for the Mukerjeas, but also the Chidambarams.

 

 

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