exchange4media takes a month by month look at the major developments in the Indian print media industry in the year gone as part of the Rewind 2010 special coverage.
The year 2010 started on a positive note for the newspaper industry. DB Corp dazzled at its IPO debut, closing Day 1 at 25 per cent premium over its issue price. HT Media announced its Q3 results, reporting a net of Rs 184.2 million, however it demerged its Hindi business and shut down ‘Metro Now’. In another interesting development, Business Today went live on Amazon Kindle. Meanwhile, international brands started looking at India and ‘Condé Nast Traveller’ announced that it was launching its India edition priced at Rs 100.
Business Today goes live on Amazon Kindle
February started with some positive news for the magazine industry. Travel magazine ‘Lonely Planet’ hit newsstands priced at Rs 100. Moreover, for animal lovers Boutique Publishing India launched ‘furs, fins and feathers’ magazine. Amid the various launches, MIB gave nod to the Indian edition of ‘Fortune’ magazine. Interestingly, veteran of the media industry MJ Akbar announced the launch of ‘The Sunday Guardian’ newspaper in Delhi.
Lonely Planet hits newsstands; priced at Rs 100
MIB nod to Indian edition of ‘Fortune’ magazine
MJ Akbar launches ‘The Sunday Guardian’ in Delhi; ‘India on Sunday’ to be available in London
Saga of magazine launches continued in the month of March too. Maheshwer Peri came up with a Hindi edition of ‘Careers360’ magazine. In the newspaper industry, Independent News & Media sold its partial stake in Jagran Prakashan. Innovation in print ad was the talking point of the year 2010. Taking the print ad innovations forward, TOI came up with an innovative cut-out exercise for Volkswagen. Also, Jupiter and Express Publications announce strategic partnership alliance.
Independent News & Media sells partial stake in Jagran Prakashan
TOI comes up with innovative cut-out exercise for Volkswagen
April began with some big news from the newspaper industry. On initial rumours of the Jagran-Mid-Day deal, both clarified to the BSE on alliance talks reports. It was also witnessed that the Indian magazine industry was unhappy with the proposed amendments to the PRB Act. Newspapers kept their expansion mode on and Mid-Day revamped its Sunday edition, introducing ‘Change’. The Times of India joined hands with Garnier for the ‘Take Care, Take Charge’ initiative. Apart from market euphoria, industry was faced with the challenges of growing newsprint prices. Amid all this, Hindustan Media Ventures announced launch of its IPO to raise Rs 300 crore from the market.
Indian magazine industry unhappy with proposed amendments to PRB Act
Newsprint prices inch up; industry braces for some tough decisions
Hindustan Media Ventures announces IPO; to raise Rs 300 cr from the market
Beginning May, Jagran Prakashan Ltd announced that it was acquiring Mid-Day’s print business. Analysts give the thumbs up to the Jagran-Mid-Day deal. Meanwhile, the IRS Q1 results were also announced. News also came in from the magazine industry and Worldwide Media launched ‘Home Trends’ magazine. On the Forbes’ India venture, media planners said that pedigree was in place but it needed to create clear USP and more specialised content.
Jagran Prakashan Ltd to acquire Mid-Day’s print business
Forbes India: Pedigree in place, but needs to create clear USP, more specialised content, say media planners
Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi announced that it was launching an edition from Bahrain in September 2010. In another development, Mint took on Bloomberg UTV for ‘similar’ campaigns. Further, Kolkata High Court vacated interim injunction on the Bloomberg UTV ad campaign. Intensifying the price war in Jharkahnd, Prabhat Khabar slashed its price to boost readership. The Telegraph launched its Orissa edition in June. Keeping up with the ad innovations seen in print, Mid-Day went 3D for its 31st anniversary issue with UTV Action.
Mint takes on Bloomberg UTV for ‘similar’ campaigns
Mid-Day goes 3D for its 31st anniversary issue with UTV Action
The month of July saw rising tension in Jammu and Kashmir, which pushed the Government to seal three newspaper offices for ‘inflammatory reporting’. Moreover, under threat from insurgents, newspapers in Manipur stopped publication and launched a three-day strike. Apart from this, Hindustan Media Ventures’ announced the date for its IPO – July 5 – and fixed the price band at Rs 162-175. In the mean time, HT fortified its presence in the NCR, launching its Gurgaon edition, while Mint sought to demystify personal finance with ‘Mint Money’. The debate on IRS-NRS merger also gathered steam.
Hindustan Media Ventures’ IPO on July 5; price band fixed at Rs 162-175
Govt seals 3 newspaper offices in J&K for ‘inflammatory reporting’
Under threat from insurgents, newspapers in Manipur stop publication, launch 3-day strike
The great IRS debate: Industry divided on single currency, but upbeat about proposed new agency
August started off with the sad news of the demise of Malayala Manorama’s Chief Editor KM Mathew. As Dainik Bhaskar launched its Ranchi edition, the fight began for the Rs 100-cr ad pie in Jharkhand. However, after a few days, the Delhi High Court ordered to stop publication of Dainik Bhaskar’s Ranchi edition, leading them to a legal battle, which got sorted later on. exchange4media took industry views on the concept of free newspaper – experts believed that it was not a smart move in the long run in India. Debate on IRS-NRS merger further intensified. Meanwhile, IRS Q2 results were also released.
Malayala Manorama Chief Editor KM Mathew passes away
Free newspapers: Not a smart move in the long run in India, say print players
Hindi business dailies: Hiccups at take-off
Jharkhand print war: Dainik Bhaskar launches Ranchi edition; fight begins for Rs 100-cr ad pie
Month of September brought some relief for Dainik Bhaskar as the Delhi High Court allowed it to resume publishing from Ranchi. The Telegraph fortified presence in the North-East with an Upper Assam edition and TOI unveiled its plans for a Kochi edition. In an annual conference in Mumbai, AIM announced that it would conduct an ‘Engagement Study’ for magazines as an alternate source of data. Geared for new launches, Chhattisgarh saw NaiDunia, Dainik Bhaskar’s low-priced avatars hitting Raipur. In recent months, the Delhi NCR became a territory where newspaper players struck gold and came up with various NCR supplements and editions. New developments were seen in the Jharkhand print war and offers, combos added muscle to dailies’ plans.
Meanwhile, i-Next went into strategic content partnership with BBC Hindi, while ‘Fortune India’ launched in India with Bates141 roped in as its creative agency.
In perhaps the biggest development of the year, restructuring took place at the India Today Group and a new focus on language brands with Prabhu Chawla in-charge. MJ Akbar was appointed for India Today English and Headlines Today. Chhattisgarh print war intensified with Patrika launching its Raipur edition. In the ABC elections, Vijay Darda was appointed the new Chairman, while Sam Balsara was elected the Deputy Chairman.
Rising business pressure forced Hindustan to shifts focus and the Chandigarh edition was shut down.
This was also the month that saw the run-up to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Cricket or content, the crisper, shorter format could work with the audience
IMC 2010: AIM to conduct ‘Engagement Study’ for magazines as alternate source of data
Jharkhand print war: Offers, combos add muscle to dailies’ plans
‘Fortune India’ launches today; Bates 141 roped in as creative agency
Restructuring at India Today Group: New focus on language brands with Prabhu Chawla in-charge; MJ Akbar appointed for India Today English & Headlines Today
Chhattisgarh print war intensifies; Patrika launches Raipur edition
ABC elections: Vijay Darda is new Chairman; Sam Balsara is Deputy Chairman
Hindustan shifts focus; wrapping up Chandigarh edition
Commonwealth Games 2010 dominated news coverage in the first half of October – specifically the corruption, the unfinished work, et al. However, the spectacular opening ceremony silenced all critics. And even the international media took a U-turn after the CWG opening ceremony.
The month also started off with some industry body meetings. ILNA re-elected Paresh Nath as President. In the INS Elections, Kundan Vyas became President, Ashish Bagga was elected as Deputy President and Tilak Kumar as Vice President. Also, Hormuzd Masani of ABC India was re-elected to the IFABC Executive Board and as President of APABC.
Meanwhile, media issued strict guidelines to skirt ‘paid news’ as EC tightened the noose on the syndrome before the Bihar elections. In Chhattisgarh, Patrika increased its footprint with a Bhillai edition. In Uttar Pradesh, Pioneer launched its Hindi newspaper with six editions. Moreover, Dainik Bhaskar intensified its North focus with a Jammu edition. Gujarati Mid-Day came up with ‘hyper local’ editions in Mumbai. The industry expressed its extreme reaction to the act of plagiarism by a senior editor of a big Indian media group.
Post CWG opening ceremony, newspapers sing a different tune; even cricket takes a back seat
International media too does a U-turn, goes gaga over CWG opening ceremony
Pedigreed Privilege: Fortune has a leg-up in India, say media planners
ILNA re-elects Paresh Nath as President; to set up state and city committees
Media issues strict guidelines to skirt ‘paid news’ as EC tightens noose on the syndrome
IndustrySpeak: Recent act of Plagiarism attracts extreme reactions
Beginning of November saw Jagran fortifying its market presence with a new corporate identity. The Hindu awarded ‘Open’ magazine’s Manu Joseph for his debut novel ‘Serious Men’. Also, Tehelka roped in top editors for it business daily ‘Financial World’. Meanwhile, INMA 2010 conference went underway in the National Capital. Hindi newspapers also went the 3D way and Dainik Bhaskar came up with a 3D issue in Jaipur.
In the meantime, the biggest controversy in Indian media’s history rocked the industry. The Niira Radia tapes case exposed the link between some top journalists and lobbyist in India. ‘impact’ magazine from exchang4media Group did a Synovate Opinion Poll to take the industry’s views on this issue.
In another development, R Jagannathan quit DNA and Aditya Sinha joined as the new Editor-in-Chief. Chauthi Dunia firmed its base with UP/ Uttarakhand edition; Rajasthan was next. As per the Pitch Media BrandOmeter report, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan Times, Mint emerged as toppers.
exchang4media raised questions over lots of industry issues, including increasing ‘commercial features’ in newspapers, corrigendum in newspapers and 3D ads in print.
3D issue of Dainik Bhaskar Jaipur to be out on November 4
Radia tapes: What does the country think? The impact Synovate Opinion Poll reveals
R Jagannathan quits DNA; Aditya Sinha to join as new Editor-in-Chief
Mixed response from mainstream media to revelations in Radia tapes
Dainik Jagran, Hindustan Times, Mint emerge toppers in Pitch Media BrandOmeter newspapers’ topline
The last month of the year saw the announcement of the IRS Q3 results. Resuming its expansion mode, Hindustan launched its Gorakhpur edition. Weekly compact Mukta Kantha launched in Delhi on December 27, eyeing young readers; ‘Sarita’ announced that it was undergoing a facelift with a new avatar from January 2011. In another development, businessman and BJP activist Sudhanshu Mittal filed a defamation complaint against The Times of India. The Times Group expanded its niche portfolio by introducing ET Wealth.
VGC gave a more vibrant, upbeat look to ‘impact’ magazine.
Hyper-local editions of newspapers: Are they cost effective?
Creating wealth: Times Group expands niche portfolio with ET Wealth
Eyeing young readers, ‘Sarita’ to undergo a facelift; new avatar from Jan 2011
Businessman & BJP activist Sudhanshu Mittal files defamation complaint against The Times of India