According to well-placed sources, magazine giant India Today Group is chalking out plans to launch a morning tabloid as part of its foray into the daily newspaper segment. It is learnt that the debate is on about the name of the proposed morning paper. Various names like India Today, Metro Today and Delhi Today are being considered. The group is said to be aiming at a launch around March 2007.
The sources claim that in all likelihood, India Today Editor Prabhu Chawla is likely to be the editor of the morninger. He will continue to be the editor of India Today magazine. However, the day-to-day editorial operations of India Today may be given to one of the three Managing Editors of the magazine -- Raj Chengappa, Shankkar Aiyar and Dilip Bobb.
The India Today management is learnt to have decided against launching a broadsheet to avoid a head-on confrontation with the two newspaper giants of Delhi -- Hindustan Times and The Times of India. But India Today may not be able to stave off direct confrontation with TOI and HT as the traditional rivals are learnt to be joining hands to launch a ‘compact’ common to both through a joint venture.
Meanwhile, India Today has hired Kingshuk Mukherjee, former Resident Editor of The Times of India, Kolkata. Mukherjee, who left The Times about a fortnight ago, is likely to join the India Today Group from October as Executive Editor.
A question that is being asked is what happens to India Today Group’s afternoon tabloid, Today, when the morninger is launched.