The India Today Group has undergone a senior level restructuring that would see the formation of a new special business unit to focus on Indian language publishing and all related extensions in the Indian language domain. All current India Today language brands will be assigned to this new SBU, which would be placed under the leadership of Prabhu Chawla, who will be designated Editor (Languages) and CEO.
The company has also appointed M J Akbar as Editorial Director of India Today - English and India Today - International and their extensions. In addition, Akbar would be associated with Headlines Today as Editorial Director. The changes are effective September 24, 2010. Chawla will report into a Board while Akbar would report to Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group.
Making the announcement, in an internal mail, Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group/Living Media, said, “Given the tremendous opportunity of this space and in view of Prabhu Chawla’s new responsibilities, he will give up the editorship of India Today - English Edition and India Today - International and all their related extensions. As Editor of the magazine for the last 14 years he has done great work in turning it into a weekly from fortnightly and maintaining its position as India's leading newsmagazine. He will also be Consulting Editor to Business Today.”
The mail also said that Chawla’s new mandate would be to address the business and editorial opportunity of Indian language publishing in an aggressive and focused manner. His efforts would be directed towards growing the existing language publications and to launch more language publications in the future. In collaboration with India Today Group Digital he will be addressing digital opportunities in the language space as well.
As is known, MJ Akbar is also the Editor in Chief of the weekly newspaper The Sunday Guardian. There were no details on how this appointment impacts his The Sunday Guardian role.
On January 31, 2010 MJ Akbar had launched his own newspaper ‘The Sunday Guardian’ with Ramjeth Malani and Sunil Gujral. Prior to that, he ran his own magazine called ‘Covert’. He is also the founder and former Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of The Asian Age. Akbar was also the Editor-in-Chief of Hyderabad-based The Deccan Chronicle. He was also associated with Telegraph and has spent several years pioneering newspaper journalism in India. He also has the credit of authoring several famous literary works such as ‘India:The Seige Within’, ‘Blood Brother’ and ‘Kashmir Behind the Vale the vale’ amongst others.