It all started in October 2003. Mid Day Multimedia, had then decided to heave off a part of its equity. Purpose, as stated, was to generate funds for the company’s ambitious expansion and growth plans. However, nothing happened on that front and senior officials at the organisation were unwilling to divulge any details.
However, now the plans of generating funds by shaking off equity have been put on the backburner. Well, then was the entire exercise much ado about nothing? “Not at all. The whole exercise was started because we were looking for a minority partner. And, we did get a number of interested parties who were looking at majority stake as well. However, we felt that our value potential is much higher than any of those offers. And hence, at the moment, any plans of diluting the promoters’ equity are on the hold,” argues Manajit Ghosal, CFO, Mid Day Multimedia.
And, what about the group’s TV venture? As per the buzz, TV team is getting dismantled. “Incorrect information,” refutes Ghosal. “Our deal with Zee News to present Mumbai Fast on the channel has come to an end. It was a test platform, anyway. The focus is on the channel to play and we are functioning with an eye on that goal,” he says.
Other initiatives that the daily had taken few days back – of launching an AM edition seems to have come to an abrupt end. The paper appeared on the stands for all of one week. Ghosal, however, refuses to comment on that front. When asked if the paper would be launched yet again, he simply states: “Just wait and watch.”
If Mid Day goes for re-launching its AM edition, and Times Of India goes ahead with Bombay Times Plus, Mumbai readers would be bombarded with a lot of city news. On the surface it looks like flanking strategy to keep the mother brand away from the eye of the competitor. The question is whether the fight is between the two, or is it to make Hindustan Times think twice before it ventures into this rather cluttered media market.