Amar Ujala to get a strategic partner: Indian Express

Amar Ujala, the fourth largest Hindi daily in terms of readership, is set to get a strategic partner. One of India’s largest regional media groups will acquire an 18 per cent stake in Amar Ujala Publications Ltd (AUPL), the company that publishes the newspaper, it is learnt. Amar Ujala has been in the news for the past two years, ever since private equity firm DE Shaw, which had picked up an 18 per cent stake in AUPL in 2006 for Rs 117 crore, sought an exit and a return of around 25% on its investment. DE Shaw was insistent that AUPL either lists itself or sells to a buyer identified by the private equity firm. When AUPL resisted, DE Shaw dragged the company to court. After a prolonged and messy battle, AUPL agreed to pay DE Shaw for its 18 per cent stake. AUPL has ever since been looking for a strategic investor. The company valued itself at around Rs 850 crore. Subhash Chandra’s Zee Group entered the fray recently, and there were some rumours that Amar Ujala’s promoters would sell …

Zee to takeover Amar Ujala

Reports coming in from different sources say that Zee group is all set to take over India leading Hindi daily Amar Ujala. The deal size is said to be worth 1100 crore rupees. Zee is expected to inform BSE about the deal on Wenesday. Rajul Maheshwari will remain director till December 31 and Sunil Mutreja will act as CEO of Amar Ujala after take over by Zee.

Amar Ujala is 4th largest Hindi daily in India as per Indian Readership Survey (IRS) behind Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar and Hindustan and ahead of Rajasthan Patrika. It is assumed that if the take over takes place  war between leading regional players in Hindi belt will resume.

In India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh Amar Ujala is in direct competition with the market leader and world's largest read daily Dainik Jagran. In western UP there is close fight between the two while Jagran has a clear edge in eastern and central UP.

In Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir Amar Ujala is the market leader. …

Update on India Today's Hindi daily Aaj Tak

In an interview to business daily Mint Editor-in-chief of India Today Aroon Purie has stated that the group is contemplating the launch of a Hindi daily. The group also plans to expand further into regional media space. A few months ago Mint has flashed the news that the group plans to launch a Hindi daily which will be named after its flagship news channel Aaj Tak. You can read the complete interview here

New launches
Updated list of recent and proposed launches is as follows:
Metro7days (daily) Mumbai May 22 Lokmat Samachar (daily) (Jalgaon) May 15 (may change) Lokmat Samachar (daily) (Pune) Date not finalised Lokmat Samachar (daily) (Mumbai) Date not finalised Hamwatan (weekly) Bhopal June 2011 Tehelka Hindi (magazine) National edition June 2011 Swabhiman Times (daily) Gwalior Date not finalised Hindustan (daily) Moradabad July 2011 (proposed) Status update: Land purchased Hindustan (daily) Aligarh Date not finalsied Dainik Bhaskar (daily) Dhanbad April 17 (launched) Hindustan Jobs (weekly) National edition May 8

Chalo Mumbai

So after Delhi now its turn of Mumbai. The financial capital of India is going to witness a turf war among new and old players of Hindi media. On 22nd May Metro Daily News India Private Limited will launch its 24 page tabloid Metro7Days. The new player has plans to launch 14 editions from different cities. The daily will be priced at 2/-. Another player waiting in the wings is Lokmat Samachar. After launching its Jalgaon edition on May 15 it plans to enter Pune and subsequently Mumbai. Lokmat group which publishes leading Marathi daily Lokmat and Lokmat Times in English seems to have grandiose plans for its Hindi newspaper. Group editor of the Lokmat Samachar Girish Mishra has already been transferred to Pune from where he is supposed to give final shapes to his strategy of taking the newspaper to Mumbai. At present there are four editions of Lokmat Samachar which will go up to seven after the launch of three more ediions. It is interesting to note that the leader…

Living Media to launch Hindi Daily Aaj Tak

Anushree Chandran,
Living Media India Ltd, which publishes print titles such as India Today, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, among others, is set to launch a Hindi broadsheet Aaj Tak in the next six months. The group operates a Hindi news channel by the same name which is over 10 years old.

The group has also set its sights on the southern market. It is gearing up to launch a Malayalam daily that would compete with Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi in the Kerala market. A team is already working on the project. A Gujarati news magazine (separate from India Today in Gujarati) is also on the cards.

While a senior India Today executive confirmed these developments on condition of anonymity, Ashish Bagga, CEO, Living Media, said there was nothing in the offing immediately. He declined to elaborate further.

The Malayalam paper and the Gujarati magazine will be published under the newly created corporate entity under Prabhu Chawla, former editor o…

Naveen Joshi on his way out

Naveen Joshi Executive Editor of Hindustan Uttar Pradesh is on his way out. Sources say that he may quit in next one week. Recently at a meeting held in Lucknow his powers were drastically cut by the new management. Ashok Pandey who is at present looking after the Hindustan Kanpur is said to be in the race to replace him at Lucknow.