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We wish they emerge stronger, we certainly will: Network18’s Adil Zainulbhai on CNN-IBN split

09-July-2015
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We wish they emerge stronger, we certainly will: Network18’s Adil Zainulbhai on CNN-IBN split

Reliance Industries’ TV18 has perennially been in the news, the split between CNN and IBN being one such recent instance. The split which has been in the offing since a few months finally took place last month, ending a partnership which had begun in 2005, with CNN Turner International and Global Broadcast News (GBN).

“We wish Turner well and we thank them for what we have accomplished. We wish they emerge stronger - we certainly will!” said Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18 in an internal email sent within the group yesterday, making Network18’s stand quite clear on the split.

Zainulbhai also shared that consolidated revenues rose by 16% in 2014-15 over the previous year. Operating profits are up by 92% and an annualised interest savings of Rs 8.5 crore. 

Below is the full text of the e-mail which was acquired through sources:

My Dear Friends,

The last twelve months have been terrific. In keeping with our democratic traditions we ushered in peacefully a new Government.

For businesses change is another opportunity for growth. Change possibly is the only constant in life.
Network 18 witnessed a change in Management. Our portfolio has increased in size and depth.

CNBC Bajaar launched just a week before July 7th and is on its way to becoming a household brand; CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz retained their unmatched leadership, while IBN Network did face challenges, we got rich validation and awards for public spirited journalism.

I am happy to see that ETV has closely integrated – we spent the year lending stability to the News channels services in Haryana-Himachal, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal and Orissa

Our ecommerce and internet businesses have gained in value – IBNLive.com,moneycontrol.com, firstpost.com & bookmyshow.com, each of these businesses have made us proud. Thank you!

HS18 is well on its way to exploit its immense potential. I welcome the new leadership.

The Viacom18 group delighted millions and in a way brought India to a grinding halt! True ambassadors of India’s soft power.

None of this would have been possible without your support; (producers,reporters, anchors, editors, visualizers, vendors & managers down to the line to those driving our OB Vans and our support staff in the pantry. You have helped deliver top-quality content. Thank you for lending your immense expertise to co-create a future-ready media power house. We want you to stand out not just in India, but at the global level.

A quick note for finance jocks! Our finances have strengthened. Our consolidated revenues rose by 16% in 2014-15 over the previous year. Operating profits are up by 92%. On the cost front, we’ve repaid public deposits of Rs. 425, renegotiated interest rates and started raising commercial paper. This resulted in an annualised interest savings of Rs 8.5 crore.

Of late, many have enquired about CNN. Here’s what I say: “We wish Turner well and we thank them for what we have accomplished. We wish they emerge stronger - we certainly will!”

I once again thank each one you and your families for your passion and effort.  The members of the Board join me in conveying their special greetings.

Let’s look to the future with enthusiasm.

Best regards,
Adil Zainulbhai

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