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HomeExclusiveVeteran Media Tycoon Ramoji Rao Passes Away at 88

Veteran Media Tycoon Ramoji Rao Passes Away at 88

Veteran media mogul and Ramoji Group Chairman Ch Ramoji Rao, a titan who revolutionized the Indian news and entertainment industry, passed away early on Saturday at the age of 88. He had been admitted to a hospital on June 5 due to respiratory problems and succumbed to his condition at 4:50 AM, as confirmed by sources from the Eenadu group. His mortal remains have been moved to his residence at the iconic Ramoji Film City.

A Visionary in Indian Media

Ramoji Rao’s impact on the media landscape in undivided Andhra Pradesh was profound. As the founder of the Eenadu newspaper and ETV group of channels, Rao transformed how news and entertainment were consumed across the state and the country. His pioneering efforts in the media industry earned him numerous accolades, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sorrow at Rao’s passing, acknowledging him as a visionary who set new benchmarks in media and entertainment. “Ramoji Rao Garu was extremely passionate about India’s development. I am fortunate to have had several opportunities to interact with him and benefit from his wisdom. Condolences to his family, friends, and countless admirers during this difficult time. Om Shanti,” Modi shared on social media.

Tributes from Leaders and Celebrities

Ramoji Rao’s death prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from prominent leaders and celebrities. Former Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, TDP Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy, Telangana Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy, and former Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao, among others, expressed their condolences.

Venkaiah Naidu praised Rao for setting new trends in every field he ventured into and highlighted his service to the Telugu language and culture. Chandrababu Naidu emphasized the indelible impression Rao left on the lives of the Telugu people, noting that his demise is a significant loss not only to the state but to the entire country. Union Minister Kishan Reddy acknowledged Rao’s role in upholding values while introducing reforms in the media industry.

Ramoji Rao’s Legacy

Ramoji Rao’s contributions extended beyond journalism. His ventures, such as Ramoji Film City, have become landmarks in their own right. Ramoji Film City is one of the largest film studio complexes in the world, attracting tourists and filmmakers globally. His innovative approach and dedication to quality have left an enduring legacy.

Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi shared an emotional tribute, likening Rao to a mountain that never bowed down. “Ramoji Rao who is like a mountain that never bowed down to anyone reached the heavenly abode,” Chiranjeevi wrote.

A Life Dedicated to Media Excellence

Ramoji Rao is survived by his wife and a son. His life’s work has not only shaped the media industry but also influenced the cultural and social fabric of India. The Chief Minister of Telangana, A. Revanth Reddy, expressed shock over the death of the Telugu media tycoon and acknowledged his role in elevating the Telugu people’s glory on a national level.

“Ramoji Rao is a visionary who showed a decade to the TV media sector by running Eenadu Magazine at the number one position for five decades in a situation where magazine management was considered a challenge. Ramoji Rao is a great person who gave utmost importance to values and credibility in any sector. Ramoji Rao is a visionary who ran Eenadu as a number-one news daily for more than 5 decades even during challenging times and also laid a strong foundation for the TV industry by establishing ETV,” said Chief Minister Revanth Reddy in his condolence message.

Official Honors and Future Plans

In light of Ramoji Rao’s immense contributions, the Chief Minister, currently in Delhi for a CWC meeting, directed state Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari to ensure that Ramoji Rao’s funeral is conducted with official honors. This directive underscores the state’s recognition of Rao’s monumental impact on the media and entertainment sectors.

Reflecting on a Media Revolution

Ramoji Rao’s journey in the media industry began with the launch of the Eenadu newspaper in 1974. He had a clear vision of creating a newspaper that catered to the Telugu-speaking population, providing them with news and entertainment content in their language. This vision soon expanded to include the ETV network, which became a pioneer in regional television channels, offering diverse programming that appealed to a wide audience.

His approach was marked by a commitment to journalistic integrity and innovation. Rao’s efforts to integrate advanced printing technology and his keen understanding of the audience’s needs set Eenadu apart from its competitors. This forward-thinking approach not only made Eenadu the leading newspaper in Andhra Pradesh but also established it as a model for regional journalism in India.

Pioneering the Television Industry

With the advent of satellite television in India, Ramoji Rao seized the opportunity to expand his media empire. The ETV network, launched in the 1990s, became a household name, offering channels in multiple languages and covering a wide range of genres, including news, entertainment, and education. ETV’s success was a testament to Rao’s ability to foresee trends and his unwavering dedication to quality content.

The network’s programming included popular shows that catered to various demographics, helping to bridge the gap between rural and urban audiences. Rao’s commitment to innovation was evident in the way ETV embraced new technologies and formats, setting a high standard for regional television networks across the country.

A Legacy of Excellence

Ramoji Rao’s contributions to the media industry were not limited to print and television. His entrepreneurial spirit led to the establishment of Ramoji Film City in 1996. This sprawling complex, spread over 1,666 acres, is a testament to his vision of creating a world-class facility for film production. Ramoji Film City is not only a major tourist attraction but also a hub for filmmakers from around the world, offering state-of-the-art infrastructure and a wide range of services.

Rao’s dedication to promoting Telugu culture and language was evident in all his ventures. He believed in the power of media to educate, entertain, and inspire, and his life’s work reflected this belief. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the media landscape, and his legacy will continue to influence future generations of media professionals.

Conclusion

The passing of Ramoji Rao marks the end of an era in Indian media. His visionary leadership, innovative spirit, and unwavering commitment to excellence have set new standards in the industry. As the nation mourns the loss of this media titan, it is also a time to reflect on his remarkable contributions and the lasting impact he has made on journalism, entertainment, and beyond.

Ramoji Rao’s legacy is one of resilience, innovation, and a deep commitment to his cultural roots. His work has enriched the lives of millions and paved the way for future advancements in the media sector. As we bid farewell to this extraordinary figure, we celebrate his life’s work and the indelible mark he has left on the world.

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