Living Media India (LMI), the holding and the magazine publishing company of the India Today Group, has entered into a joint venture agreement with Hearst Corporation, USA, to publish, both print and digital, magazines, primarily in the lifestyle domain, for the Indian market. The magazines published by the joint venture will include Hearst and other publishers’ titles. LMI has been a licensee of Hearst brands.
Sanjay Thapar has been brought on board as Chief Executive Officer to lead the LMI-Hearst joint venture. In this role, he will report to Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, India Today Group. All editorial and business staff of the Lifestyle group will be supervised by Thapar. He joins in from Bates India, where he was Group CEO. Prior to this, he has held senior executive positions in Ogilvy & Mather, Mudra India, Ramms India, and Bata.
Commenting on Thapar’s appointment, Bagga said, “Over the coming months, Sanjay’s key priorities will include identifying expansion plans in editorial products, ad sales, client relationships, and our go-to-market approach. Amongst other initiatives, this will consist of brand extensions, regional language editions, new titles, and a digital foray. Under his leadership, here’s wishing the LMI-Hearst JV a successful future ahead.”
With long stints in the advertising and retail industries, Thapar brings over 26 years of experience in strategic initiatives, managing P&L, overseeing large teams, driving business turnaround, and forging business partnerships to enable growth.
On his new role, Thapar said, “This is a very exciting opportunity. With extremely strong brands in our portfolio, I am looking forward to building on the solid platform provided and take the business to even greater heights. Having been on both the client and agency side, I hope I can add a balanced focus on brand building and consumer perspectives.” He is relocating from Mumbai to Delhi for this new role.
Hearst Corporation is one of US’ largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 34 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN; significant holdings in the automotive, electronics and healthcare information industries; a 50 per cent stake in the global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.