The official word on Hindustan Times and The Times of India joint venture is finally out. To recap, exchange4media had reported on September 21, 2006, that the two media giants were in the process of working out a deal for a joint venture. On Tuesday, October 3, 2006, The Times of India Group and HT Media Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (subject to Board approval) in New Delhi to establish a 50:50 joint venture.
The JV will function as a standalone business and has been established to “publish a new and vibrant newspaper in Delhi, reflecting the changing needs of the reader and the emergence of Delhi as an international city”. The joint venture will draw strength from the competencies of both groups, allowing them to work together to efficiently grow an exciting and nascent market, a statement said.
In a statement issued by Hindustan Times, Shobhana Bhartia, Vice-Chairperson, HT Media Ltd, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with BCCL on this value creating opportunity which reflects our commitment to delivering highly relevant editorial content. We believe that the new paper will give advertisers an opportunity to engage the reader on an unprecedented level.”
Vineet Jain, Managing Director, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (The Times of India Group’s parent company), said: “We are happy to be joining hands with HT Media and using our synergies to further develop the English newspaper readership base. This JV is part of our commitment to best serve the new aspirations and mindsets of readers and provide the best possible value to advertisers.”
The product expected from the joint venture is a morning ‘compact’ paper for Delhi – titles being toyed with are ‘Delhi Post’ and ‘The Metropolis’. A related development is that of Sameer Kapoor being hired by Bennett, Coleman to head the venture as President or CEO. Prior to this, Kapoor was with Scholastic India as Managing Director.
TOI and HT shake hands in Delhi; plan JV for a common ‘compact’