Even as the rank and file in the Times Group were awaiting a circular announcing the date of departure of Executive Editor Jaideep Bose, comes the news that the situation has turned a full circle. After a month-long series of intense, emotional (for both sides) negotiations, the Jains of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd have succeeded in retaining Bose, popularly known as JoJo among his friends and colleagues. According to sources close to the development, JoJo, who had virtually made up his mind to move to Network18’s JV with the Pearson Group of UK to bring out the Indian edition of the Financial Times, has changed his mind about moving out.
exchange4media had reported last month that JoJo was all set to move out after a 15-year-long association with BCCL, a position that has now changed following the sustained engagement by the Jains.
It is reliably learnt that JoJo has been offered a higher position – either Editor-in-Chief of The Times of India, Group Editor or Editorial Director. He may also be inducted into the Board of Directors.
While BCCL has been able to retain its long-time editorial boss, the country’s largest and oldest media house has also ensured that the possibility of an exodus of senior editorial hands along with JoJo is not going to happen. As part of the deal, Arindam Sengupta, currently Resident Editor, TOI Delhi, will be elevated as Executive Editor, TOI. Vikas Singh is slated to replace him as RE, Delhi. Diwakar was already elevated as Associate Editor about three months ago.
What is significant is that the deal also includes “unprecedented” increase in remuneration levels of senior editorial hands. In some cases, remuneration packages of senior editors are set to go up by 80-100 per cent.
It is also reliably learnt that ESOPs/stock options will be offered to select, senior executive hands, including editorial. There is talk that BCCL is actively looking at listing the company in the very near future.
There is another interesting development that is learnt to have been worked out as part of the deal to keep back JoJo. For quite some time, there have been murmurs of resentment on the editorial floors of The Times of India and The Economic Times over pressures to provide editorial support to clients of the Private Treaties initiative of BCCL. It has now been decided, it is learnt, that the top management has given an assurance to the editorial bosses that there would be no linking of Private Treaties interests with editorial coverage. Such coverage, henceforth, would be dependent solely on merit according to the standard decision-making process for news – no pressure would be brought on this score.
JoJo has been at the helm of TOI since January 2004. Prior to that, he was Executive Editor of The Economic Times for a few years. He began his career with the Times Group as Resident Editor of the Kolkata edition of ET sometime in the early 90s. He moved in from The Telegraph of the ABP Group in Kolkata.
Arguably, JoJo has to his credit the longest, unbroken tenure as the top editorial person in BCCL in recent times if one considers his back-to-back stints as Executive Editor of ET and TOI. A low-profile editor who prefers the solitude of the editorial backroom, JoJo has an enviable track record of leading a dedicated team to achieve editorial goals.
TOI Executive Editor Jaideep Bose all set to move out