Guess what I bought my girlfriend on Feb 14?

Ordinary mortals buy roses for their beau on Valentine’s Day. Sons of the soil buy TV news channels.

Well, that’s what Bangalore Mirror, the tabloid from The Times of India stable is reporting.

Former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, son of the former prime minister and “humble farmer” H.D. Deve Gowda, already runs a general entertainment channel called Kasturi through his legislator-wife Anitha Kumaraswamy.

HDK is now reported to have bought the struggling 24×7 Kannada news channel, Samaya, for Rs 60 crore, as a “gift” for chhoti memsaab, the former movie actress Radhika.

Kumaraswamy told Bangalore Mirror, “Samaya channel is up for sale, and I am in talks with its owner. We still have not completed the deal.”

When we asked the ex-CM whether he was buying the channel for Radhika, he guffawed and hung up.

Kumaraswamy, a former film producer, no longer makes the pretence of keeping his relationship with the actress secret. The two have appeared as a “couple” in religious ceremonies.

Kasturi channel has already begun running “Coming Soon” promos of its news channel—tentatively titled Newz24. The rumour is that a former print journalist reported to be close to Kumaraswamy and currently heading a news channel is likely to take charge of the news channel operations.

Samaya, launched by Congress MLA Satish Jharkiholi, has been struggling since launch. Former Suvarna News editor Shashidhar Bhat recently joined the channel but what happens to him under the new owner will be breaking news.

The change of ownership of Samaya is only the latest evidence of a massive shakeup in Kannada media in which big money, with the tint of politics and business, is beginning to shape the public discourse in Karnataka like never before, no questions asked.

The shakeup has already seen Vijaya Karnataka editor Vishweshwar Bhat join Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News editor Ravi Hegde join Udaya Vani. (Both Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News will soon come under a common owner, the “independent” member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar who has an affinity for the BJP.)

Last week, tourism minister N. Janardhana Reddy—one of the infamous Reddy brothers—recently launched a news channel called JanaSri.

Link via H.B. Kumar

Read the full article: HDK is buying a news channel for his party—and for Radhika

Image: courtesy Bangalore Mirror

Also read: Everyone is naked in the chief minister’s hamaam

One question I’m dying to ask H.D. Kumaraswamy—I

One question I’m dying to ask H.D. Kumaraswamy—II