According to an internal circular issued by HT Media Ltd on September 18, Rajan Bhalla, Business Head, Mint, is stepping down this week as Publisher and will be taking on a new, non-media challenge outside HT Media Ltd.
Vivek Khanna will take on the additional responsibility as Publisher, Mint. He will work closely with HT Media’s media marketing team, led by Benoy Roychowdhury, in expanding the paper’s advertising footprint and in sharply enhancing collaborative selling across Hindustan Times and Mint.
Taking over much of Bhalla’s operational role would be Sandeep Bhushan, who has been leading Mint’s marketing and branding efforts. Bhushan will become Mint’s Chief of Operations, overseeing all business-side operational issues, including targeted market development efforts for Mint, circulation, finance, HR and marketing streams. He will report to Khanna.
All of Mint’s editorial activities would continue to be led by its Editor Raju Narisetti and Managing Editor R Sukumar. Narisetti will also be responsible for all content development at livemint.com, leveraging HT Media’s digital resources. He will work in close partnership with Amit Garg, Head of Firefly eVentures, to expand livemint.com. Rashmi Chugh, Head of livemint.com, will continue to work closely with Sandeep Bhushan on revenue generation activities and report to Narisetti on all livemint.com content/product development functions.
Bhalla, a marketing expert who joined HT Media from PepsiCo, was instrumental in developing Mint’s positioning and branding in close partnership with the paper’s editorial team.
“Mint will always be very close to my heart. How often does one get an opportunity to launch a brand from scratch? It’s been a tremendous journey putting Mint together. It gives me immense pride as Mint is steadily getting accolades from both readers and advertisers. It’s the most premium newspaper in the country today. I wish Mint a lot of success. It is a business news brand of the future that will straddle all forms of media in times to come. It’s certainly going to be one of my most memorable assignments. My reasons for leaving Mint are personal, and I feel proud of my two-year association with HT Media Ltd.” Bhalla said.
On the way forward, Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media Ltd, said, “Now, it is clearly the time to take the early editorial success of Mint to the next, logical level of business success even as we continue to offer readers enhanced content and features, both in print and online.”