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Showing posts from February, 2007

Sale deal off for Prabhat Khabar

Ranchi, Feb. 14: Putting all speculation to rest, the Usha Martin Group, owner of Jharkhand’s leading Hindi daily, Prabhat Khabar, has finally decided not to sell the paper.
The decision was taken on Tuesday after Rajeev Jhawar, the managing director, apprised the group chairman of “strong sentiments of the employees against acquisition of the paper by Dainik Jagran”.
Yesterday Jhawar had met key people from Prabhat Khabar.
“After meeting them and going by their sentiments, the family has decided not to sell the paper,” he told The Telegraph.
“Earlier we had decided to divest a portion of our stakes but now we have taken a final decision against selling and will continue to run the business,” he added.
K.K. Goenka, vice-president, Prabhat Khabar, expressing his happiness, said: “The management has taken a bold decision. They interacted with locals and realised that Prabhat Khabar is a strong brand,” he said.
Goenka said the employees are now rejuvenated and geared up to take all steps to he…

Impending takeover is talk of town

Ranchi, Feb. 11: With news of the impending sale of Prabhat Khabar, the state’s leading Hindi newspaper, doing the rounds, politicians have jumped into the arena to condemn the “sell-out”.
A pamphlet circulated in the state capital over the weekend exhorted people to resist the sale.
The newspaper, declared the Jharkhand Jansangharsh Morcha, has been the voice of Jharkhand and is closely identified with the movement for the creation and thereafter reconstruction of the new state.
The sale for profit-motive, therefore, was not acceptable, it stated.
An agitated Ajay Kumar Kachchap of the Morcha states that the sale is a cons-piracy to suppress the voice of the people and “the deal must be stopped”.
Even employees and journalists at Neutral Publishing House at Kokar, appear restive and question the wisdom of Usha Martin Ltd. in selling out at this juncture.
“Usha Martin is not a sick company and is in no dire need to justify selling of family silver,” said a worried employee on Sunday while h…

Jagran tipped to pip Dainik Bhaskar in takeover race

Ranchi/Calcutta, Feb. 9: “Negotiations are in an advanced stage” is the only comment that stakeholders were willing to make today.
But the buzz is that Jharkhand’s leading newspaper, Prabhat Khabar, is all set to change hands.
Unconfirmed reports put the UP-based Jagran group and MP-based Dainik Bhaskar group, the latter also the publishers of the English daily DNA (Daily News & Analysis) in Mumbai, as front-runners to buy Neutral Publishing, the firm that publishes Prabhat Khabar and is about to launch FM radio stations in Ranchi and Jamshedpur.
While Dainik Bhaskar does not have a presence in the east, Jagran has editions in Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and also Bhagalpur. It is not clear at this point whether the group, if it manages to buy Prabhat Khabar, will opt to retain both the brands and all the editions.
Usha Martin Industries Ltd (UMIL) bought Prabhat Khabar, which was launched in 1984, from Congress leader Gyan Ranjan in 1989 for Rs 2.5 crore.
Usha Martin, a company registere…

Rashtriya Sahara enters Kanpur, eyes Dehradoon

Sumita Patra

Rashtriya Sahara has Kanpur edition on February 10. This is the fifth edition of the paper from the diversified Sahara Group. The group has identified Dehradoon as its next destination, but no final date has been fixed for this foray.
With a cover price of Rs 3, the paper comes out with 16 pages and a four-page supplement, with ten pages being in colour.
Explaining the reason for launching the Kanpur edition, Rashtriya Sahara Unit Manager Amar Singh said, “Kanpur has a lot of potential both in terms of readership as well as in terms advertising revenue.”
Rashtriya Sahara will be facing stiff competition from the existing players lijke Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Hindustan and Aaj. But Singh hopes to counter the entrenched players by laying stress on strong editorial content--40 percent being local content and the rest being a healthy mix of national news, international news, business, sports, entertainment, and others. Singh hopes to garner around Rs 50 lakh a month in ad reve…

Language editions and translation

ALOKE THAKORE The India Today issue of 5 February and the India Today (Hindi) of 7 February, 2007 presents a rather unique case of journalistic mimesis. Suggesting anything otherwise would be impertinent. Mr Aroon Purie’s signed editorial on page 5 of the English edition and Mr Prabhu Chawla’s signed editorial on page 4 of the Hindi edition read the same with very minor changes. Granting that the substance of both the pieces deals with the same story, the mirroring of ideas, the flow of sentences, even the placement of quotes, would all lead one to believe that at least one of them was plagiarising or both were affixing signatures to ghost written editorials; especially, since both these esteemed gentlemen choose to end the pieces with a signature flourish. Or may be it is just the mode of operations that the Hindi edition is accustomed to since the magazine that has a different registration number than the English one chooses to do nothing more than translate all the pieces that make…

DAVP rate issue: INS threatens judicial recourse

It’s only a little over a month is left for I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi’s much-touted announcement on separate DAVP (Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity) rates for newspapers and magazines to come into effect. To the consternation of the INS, the Minister had told the Indian Magazine Congress held in the Capital last year that after March 31, 2007, the DAVP pricing mechanism for newspapers and magazines would be made separate.
Strongly reacting to the move, INS President Hormusji N. Cama, who was in the Capital recently, said, “My view is that there should not be any DAVP rates. Where is the question of there being a separate DAVP rate? There should not be a separate DAVP rate. What right does the government have to decide on a rate for a newspaper?”
The Indian Newspaper Society has been discussing the issue with the government since then, but without much success. When queried on the outcome, Cama said, “The government stand is that they are not forcing any one of us to ac…

Bhaskar, Jagran in race for Prabhat Khabar

The race for the Jharkhand-based Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar is on its last lap. There is a crucial meeting between the Jhawars of the Usha Martin group that owns the daily and the top brass of Jagran Prakashan, the publishers of Dainik Jagran, in New Delhi next week.

HT Media (Hindustan) and Writers & Publishers that owns Dainik Bhaskar are also in the race for acquiring a controlling stake in the Jharkhand’s largest circulated newspaper. Industry sources said Dainik Jagran and Dainik Bhaskar were leading the race for Prabhat Khabar, though no deal was clinched till then.

“We are at an advanced stage of negotiation, but we have not signed any deal,” said a senior executive at Dainik Bhaskar.