Media Matters

Rajdeep and Sagarika to resign as Reliance takes over Network 18

Network 18 managing director Raghav Bahl is likely to resign tomorrow.

Celebrity TV journalists Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose are likely to resign from CNN-IBN by end of June, as Reliance Industries Ltd is taking over the channel's holding company, Network 18. They are likely to go on leave from June 1 and resign by June 30, Network 18 officials told Scroll.in. In between, they will sell to Reliance Industries their minority shares in the company.

Network 18 managing director Raghav Bahl is likely to resign tomorrow, May 30. He has no immediate investment or entrepreneurial plans in the media, these officials said. This will come after the exit earlier this week of three top executives at Network 18, Sai Kumar, Ajay Chacko and RDS Bawa.

While Sardesai and Ghose have offers from other media houses, officials denied the rumours doing the rounds in the Delhi media for weeks that they were considering an offer from Focus TV. While Ghose is reliably learnt to be considering offers from other media organisations, Sardesai is considering taking a break for a year to write a book. The duo haven't had it easy with the management of the channel recently. In February, Scroll.in had reported that the management had asked Ghose to not be critical of Narendra Modi, who was making an ambitious bid for the post of prime minister.

Reliance Industries Ltd. today said in a press release (.pdf here) that they were putting in Rs. 4,000 crores (around $679 million) in Independent Media Trust for "acquisition of control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd... including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Limited... " In other words, Reliance Industries is effecting a management takeover of Network 18.

"The acquisition will differentiate Reliance's 4G business by providing a unique amalgamation at the intersect of telecom, web and digital commerce via a suite of premier digital properties," the release said. "This suite includes In.com, IBNLive.com, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Cricketnext.in, Homeshop18.com, Bookmyshow.com; the broadcast channels include Colors, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz."

The announcement has left Network 18 employees in a state of uncertainty, sources say.

The Independent Media Trust will use these funds to buy 78% stake in Network18 and 9% stake in TV18 and to acquire shares tendered in the Open Offers. IMT will make open offers simultaneously to public shareholders to acquire shares of Network18, TV18 and Infomedia Press Limited.
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Five of the world’s most incredible magic tricks that went wrong

Even the best planned illusions are often unpredictable and can have unfortunate consequences.

Magic has a special hold on our imagination, especially when magicians and illusionists perform death-defying tricks. But magic, much like life itself, is unpredictable. These are some of the world’s most audacious magic tricks that show how even some of the best magicians often miscalculate the risk:

The bullet catch. In this trick, a bullet is fired at a magician on stage who appears to catch it in his mouth. The bullet, before being fired, is marked by a member of the audience to ensure that it is the same bullet that’s caught by the magician. The bullet catch has been described as the most dangerous magic trick in the world and around 15 magicians have reportedly died performing it.

The Chinese water torture cell. In this illusion, the magician, with feet locked in iron restraints, is lowered face first into a glass tank filled with water in full view of the audience. The magician then has only minutes to undo the restraints and escape before drowning. Many magicians have attempted variations of this trick, and as recently as 2015, an escape artist called Spencer Horsmann nearly drowned when he failed to escape.

Buried alive. Legend has it that this illusion has its origins in India. There are many variations of the trick with the essential feature being that the magician is trapped underground in a box. In a famous 1999 event, the American magician David Blaine was buried in a Plexiglas coffin for seven days. He survived the trick but many others have not. Joe Burrus, an American magician attempted the trick in 1990 and died when his coffin broke underground.

Sword swallowing. This ancient art involves the magician inserting a sword or other sharp metal objects down his or her throat and into the stomach. Many variations have been performed with magicians swallowing long swords, multiple swords, bayonets and even hot swords to make it more dramatic. It is estimated that over 25 magicians have died performing it since the 19th century.

Death-defying escape under the sea. This magic trick was first performed by the Indian magician PC Sorcar Jr in 1969. Sorcar was sealed in a mail bag and locked in a wooden crate that was strapped with steel, welded, chained and thrown into the ocean. Sorcar managed to escape from the crate within 90 seconds and became a legend. In 1983, an escape artist called Dean Gunnarson performed a similar stunt in which he was handcuffed, chained and nailed into a coffin that was immersed into a river. The stunt went wrong, and Gunnarson had to be rescued by his support crew and resuscitated back to life.

Despite the best preparations, magic tricks can go awry and leave families without financial security. The video below takes the lens of humor but drives the point home.

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While the chances of encountering an inept street magician or trying death-defying stunts are rather slim for most people, given the unpredictability of life, we can’t be too certain of what the future holds. It’s important to invest in a good insurance plan that can protect your family from adverse circumstances. The PNB MetLife Mera Term Plan is a comprehensive and highly flexible online term plan that lets you customize it to your needs. To learn more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of PNB MetLife and not by the Scroll editorial team.

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