The paradox of Sanjay Pugalia: Chief of Adani’s business of news

From upholding liberal values to spearheading the campaign to takeover NDTV – what prompted the big leap?

WrittenBy:Tanishka Sodhi
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Sanjay Pugalia’s reputation precedes him. 

A journalist known for his sharp interview skills, success in building India’s first Hindi business news channel, and leading liberal media outlet The Quint – Pugalia, a man in his early 60s, earned a badge of credibility scarce in an otherwise uncertain industry. 

So, in 2021, when he joined as the chief of AMG Media Networks, the media wing of billionaire Gautam Adani’s corporate empire, and led the coup to takeover NDTV – then hailed as the last bastion of independent journalism on television – it sparked a whirlwind of speculations. 

Was it a strategic career move driven by ambition or a shift in ideology? Under Pugalia, Adani’s NDTV soon saw an exodus of its known faces and a new push for coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known to foster close ties with Adani. 

Yet, many of Pugalia’s former colleagues, speaking to Newslaundry, drew solace in him being the captain of the NDTV ship. Some expressed “surprise”. 

The solace sprung from the veteran journalist’s reputation. And the surprise was because of “how critical he has been of the government,” said one of Pugalia’s former colleagues. “It is also a hint of the space being created by the Adani group”. 

Between shock and solace, what made Pugalia the perfect fit for Adani’s growing media network?

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