Inspired by the IPL, the major news channels have decided to auction off their high-value assets to ride out the recession. Reputed auditing firm Ricewaterspouse has already assessed the anchors and submitted a detailed report to Lalit Modi. Don’t ask us how we laid our grubby hands on page 1 of this confidential report. Just dim your screens and read silently.

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Media assets under consideration



“I’m your soulmate. I complete your sentences, don’t I?”

NAME: Rajdeep “pointus interruptus” Sardesai

SIGNATURE STYLE: Bark excitedly at faces on a giant screen.

USP: Appeals to a wide demographic; incredibly popular with Pomeranians.

CREDO: Create a channel out of thin air, then sustain it on hot air.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Rajdeep’s fanatical commitment to the sound of his own voice has the effect of rendering his guests speechless. Gone are the days when politicians leisurely dangled their modifiers and flaunted their participles while cunningly hiding their main clauses in labyrinths of disclaimers. Today, they hurriedly pack all their meaning into the first half of every sentence. Because once they reach mid-sentence


Does every question in the universe have a Y or N answer? Y-73% N-27%

NAME: Sagarika “faze the nation” Ghose

SIGNATURE STYLE: Maddening high-pitched harangue.

USP: Wields voice with operatic prowess. Can go ultrasonic and sense your location using sonar.

CREDO: Oversimplify or perish.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Knows that India is a nation teeming with objective-type questions. Just SMS QOTD Y or N. There is no negative marking. If you’re a guest, keep it short. If you veer off-script, Sagarika will provide a heart-stoppingly unrecognizable summary of whatever you just said. High on sartorial consistency, sleeves match attention span.

"See the putty in my hands? That's you, dear viewer."

“See the putty in my hands? That’s you, dear viewer.”

NAME: Barkha “she the people” Dutt

SIGNATURE STYLE: Let’s give them something to fight about.

USP: Never ashamed to TeaR uP on camera.

CREDO: Have heartstring, will yank.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: If you’re a guest on her talk show, she will find your raw nerve and sandpaper it till you cry. And then she will cry with you till the ratings go wild. It’s like watching Jerry Springer and Oprah at the same time. As a war correspondent, she will brave gunfire and artillery shells, but not unfriendly blogs. If you so much as suggest that she put soldiers in harm’s way, she will make a Cheytanya Kunte out of you (go ahead, google the poor wretch). Currently anchors a show where the buck stops, but certainly not the bak bak.


For every fact, there is an equal and opposite opinion

NAME: Arnab “the evangelist” Goswami

SIGNATURE STYLE: Incandescent moral outrage of the omniscient admonisher.

USP: Can unleash a 60-minute sermon while pretending to interview 5 guests.

CREDO: The apocalypse is upon us. Follow me.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In an industry obsessed with objectivity and balance, Arnab comes as a breath of fresh air. In a nation obsessed with humility and wisdom, Arnab comes as a breath of fresh air. Every evening, Arnab’s forensic pyrotechnics make you question the need for a judicial system in a nation equipped with television studios. A man of destiny, Arnab knows that he will one day save the world. Not surprisingly, he dresses like Clark Kent.



“I’m Socrates. You’re a gorgeous Athenian lad.”

NAME: Karan Thapar

SIGNATURE STYLE: Nitpick. Nitpick. Nitpick.

USP: Extremely well connected.

CREDO: The privilege is all yours.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Talking to Thapar is the verbal equivalent of getting a colonoscopy. Not recommended unless medically necessary, and never to be attempted in public. Typical interview fragment:

Thapar: You’re not saying “yes”…. so does that mean you’re saying “no”?
Guest: Not exactly.
Thapar: Ok so you’re saying “not exactly”….. Does that mean a “not exactly yes” or a “not exactly no”?
Guest: I’m saying neither.
Thapar (narrowing his eyes): So you’re not saying “yes”, you’re not saying “no”, you’re not saying “not exactly yes”, and you’re not saying “not exactly no”… Would that be a correct assessment of what you’re saying?
Guest: I suppose so.
Thapar: You just contradicted yourself! A moment ago you were absolutely certain and now you’re no longer sure.
Guest: Well that’s because-
Thapar: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.


“tell me honestly… didn’t you think Skylab would fall on your head?”

NAME: Shekhar Gupta

SIGNATURE STYLE: Obscure 80s nostalgia.

USP: Frighteningly well connected.

CREDO: Let’s Walk the Talk. You walkie, me talkie.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Walks and talks with VIPs so VVIP that they won’t be caught dead near a television studio. Is the most hilariously inattentive interviewer in the industry. Typical interview fragment:

Shekhar: So tell me about your strained relations with Pranab Mukherjee.
Chidambaram: As I was saying, last Sunday I had had just about enough of his nonsense. So I-
Shekhar: You mean the PM?
Chidambaram: Not the PM. Pranab Mukherjee. So as I was saying, I went up to him and told him to take a flying
Shekhar: I remember during Rajiv Gandhi’s time you were criticized for fixing the price of tea.

Masand displays his liver, where the bile is produced

Masand displays his liver, where the bile is produced

NEW DELHI: Self-styled movie critic Rajiv Masand stunned viewers last night by launching a blistering attack against his own show.

Declaring that the vacuousness of his reviews was matched only by the pomposity of their delivery, Masand wondered how anyone could take him seriously after his review of Michael Clayton, which, “were it not so depressingly bereft of critical engagement, may have charmed with the jejune brio of its bumptiousness.”

Pulled up by Rajdeep for having ridiculed one of the channel’s most high-brow offerings, Masand blamed his liver, where most of his thoughts, feelings and adjectives originate. “Last night my liver was working overtime and my body was making more puke than the movies could handle. I had to find something else to hurl on.” he claimed.

Mr.Abbas: He knows stuff about your wife too

Mr.Abbas: He knows stuff about your wife too

MUMBAI: Game-show host turned Toyota dealer Roshan Abbas ran into trouble after he approached Prime Minister Vajpayee to divulge sensitive information regarding Ms. Mamta Bannerjee. Barely two minutes into an NDA crisis-management meeting, Mr Abbas managed to get past security and inform the PM: “That’s Ms. Mamta Bannerjee. Did you know that she actually hates para-gliding in Tollyganj?” Commandoes immediately swung into action and whisked away Mr. Abbas for a frank exchange of ideas.

Although it was established that Mr. Abbas was just a harmless collector of female trivia, powerful lobbies from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, AIADMK and the I&B Ministry were successful in getting him declared a public nuisance. Mr. Abbas has denied rumours that he presides over a vast network of charming and personable guys covertly setting up a matrimonial database.

A contestant uses the new '50/50 wifeline'

A contestant uses the new '50/50 wifeline'

MUMBAI: KBC contestant Mr. R. Thaneja was in for a big surprise when his wife answered the phone at his best friends house. Not to be outdone by the brief awkward moment that followed, the couple quickly got their priorities straight and pulled through with a sterling performance. A transcript of the conversation is reproduced for the benefit of our readers:

BigB: Guptaji, mein Amitabh Bachchan KBC se bol raha hun…
Mrs.T: Amitabhji! Mein aapka bahut bada pankha hun! Boliye sir.
BigB: Madam, Kya Guptaji ghar pe nahin hain?
Mrs.T: Nahin, woh bahar gaye hain… Bisleri khareedne ke liye.
BigB: Achcha theek hain. Mr.Thaneja aap se ek sawal puchenge. Aglee awaaz unki hogi.
Mrs.T: Thaneja? Kaun Thaneja, Mere Pathi ® ???!!!
Mr.T: (brief pause) Haan darling, Mein hun…
Mrs.T: Jaldi boliye, aap ke paas sirf 30 seconds hain.
Mr.T: Achcha suno: What is the spelling of ‘Faux Pas’? (A)Foxpass, (B)Faux Pas, (C)Hauz Khas (D)Katmandu ?
Mrs.T: Question dubara padiye – sawal mein hi jawab likha hoga!
Mr.T: Idea bahut achcha hai. Thank you darling.

Speaking to newsmen after coolly walking away with a 10,000 rupee prize he said, “It was sheer luck that my wife picked up the phone. Gupta would probably have panicked and given the wrong answer”. Mr. Gupta admitted that he most likely would have wasted those 30 seconds on some totally unhelpful guilt trip.


NEW DELHI: Cable news channels have turned the tables on the government by asking it to impose stricter guidelines on a society that was obscene, full of violence, and clearly unfit for television. A representative says: “Just look at the kind of news we’re forced to broadcast. Caste violence, dowry deaths, corruption in high places, police complicity, and if that was not enough, match-fixing and lachrymose cricketers. Society has single-handedly ruined the news, which we originally positioned as a ‘feel good’ type of show meant for younger viewers. The govt needs to take into account these young impressionable minds and restrict the perverse content of society, otherwise television is never going to improve.”

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