Aveek Sarkar has stepped down as chief editor of ABP Pvt. Ltd publications The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika and has been replaced by his brother Arup Sarkar, currently the chief editor of the group’s Bengali magazines, as “part of the ongoing process of streamlining news operations”.
In a notice to ABP employees, the company’s managing director and chief executive officer Dipankar Das Purkayastha said R. Rajagopal has been appointed editor of English daily The Telegraph and Anirban Chattopadhyay as editor of Anandabazar Patrika—the group’s flagship newspaper—and Ebela, the younger of ABP’s two Bengali dailies.
While Aveek Sarkar is distancing himself from day-to-day editorial operations of the group’s key publications, he will be ABP’s vice-chairman and editor emeritus, Purkayastha said in his notice.
“He will be supporting the news operations of the group in an advisory role but will continue to lead digital and other initiatives of the group,” he added.
ABP, which is the biggest news organization in the east, is privately owned by the extended Sarkar family.
For quite some time now as he approached 70, Aveek Sarkar has been hinting at stepping down as group chief editor, said two persons familiar with the development. They asked not to be identified.
There was speculation that Sarkar stepped down taking responsibility for leading a frontal attack on the Trinamool Congress through these publications and ABP Ananda—the Bengali news channel he runs—ahead of this year’s assembly election.
But Mint could not independently verify whether his political stance or the outcome of the West Bengal assembly election had anything to do with his decision to quit as group chief editor. The Trinamool Congress declined to comment.
Sarkar wasn’t immediately available for comment.