Subhash Chandra's Zee network in a joint venture with Dainik Bhaskar is all set to launch an English daily in Mumbai. According to sources, Rediffusion DY&R is now in charge of the creative and the strategy mandate of this new daily. Meanwhile, the rest of the Bhaskar creative account continues to be serviced by Arms Advertising.
When contacted, none of the official representatives from the companies involved (Zee, Dainik Bhaskar and Rediff) was willing to comment on the same. However, sources in the know also informed exchange4media that Suresh Balakrishnan, who recently joined the Zee Group, has been handed the ad sales and marketing responsibilities of this new daily.
Balakrishnan has been credited for doing a good job on The Hindustan Times in advertising sales and media marketing. It is understood that Balakrishnan's competency in generating ad sales for HT and his experience in start ups has much to do with this new mandate.
Chandra is set to have a strategic partnership with the Dainik Bhaskar group for a foray into the newspaper business. The beginning of the daily would be in Mumbai, and after administering its progress, the newspaper may be extended to other regions. Pradip Guha, CEO of Zee Network, is said to be the person behind this move. Mumbai now has four general dailies (The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Asian Age, The Free Press Journal), two afternoon tabloids (Mid-Day and Afternoon) and four financial dailies.
The Mumbai print market generates some Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion) in advertising for all newspapers in India. Bennett, Coleman & Company, publishers of The Times of India and The Economic Times and other publications, accounts for between 45 per cent and 50 per cent of this market.
The new daily should be launched in a couple of months.