Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MEDIA UPDATE - January 2006

Court rules 20 % content syndication limit as illegal

The Delhi High Court has held that the 20 per cent ceiling on publication of syndicated articles and features by foreign writers and journalists in various newspapers and magazines in India was against the freedom of speech and _expression under the Fundamental Rights (Article 19) enumerated in the Constitution.

While observing that freedom of press need not be tested on nationality, Justice Vikramjit Sen said the government in a circular could not restrict the publication of syndicated articles and features of the foreign publications in Indian newspapers, magazines and periodicals.

''The impugned circular to restrict the publication of foreign syndicated articles to 20 per cent in the publications in India is struck down as it is contrary to Article 19 of the Constitution,'' said the order.

Jagran group plans to spend US $ 66 million on expansion

Leading publishing house Jagran Prakashan will invest Rs 298 crore (US $ 66 million) in major expansion in the country, of which Rs 80 crore would be exclusively for acquisitions of and strategic investments in other journals and magazines.

To fund the expansion and acquisitions, Jagran has already offered its initial public offer of 11.5 million shares, which analysts estimate will fetch the group about Rs 400 crore.

“Our dream is to make Jagran the number one publishing house not only in terms of revenue but also in respect of readers,” Jagran Prakashan Limited chairman Mahendra Mohan Gupta.
Asked if the publisher of ‘Dainik Jagran’ Hindi newspaper is planning to acquire dailies and magazines, he said, “It will depend on the strategic alliance.”

The group had set up an internal selection committee to screen the offers already coming in from various newspapers and magazines, Mr Gupta said.

With a readership of over 2.12 crore and pan-india infrastructure, the group is also looking for strategic alliance and tie-ups with newspapers for revenue sharing. It has editions in 25 centres.
“Many newspapers are number two or three in their regions but lack ad revenues. We would like to tie up with them for sharing ad revenues to the tune of 25-33 per cent and providing them strategic and financial package,” Gupta said.

Vikatan group gears up to launch several Tamil magazines

The South-based Vikatan group is gearing up to launch several magazines in Tamil language. The first from the stable will be an auto magazine.

The new magazine will be titled ‘Motor Vikatan’, and a section by that name has already been introduced in the group’s publications ‘Ananda Vikatan’, ‘Junior Vikatan’, ‘Aval Vikatan’ and the newly launched ‘Nanayam Vikatan’.

More niche magazines in Tamil are being considered, as are special offerings to readers and advertisers as part of the 81st year celebrations.

Gujarati general interest weekly ‘Chitralekha’ launched in the US

The Chitralekha Group, publishers of the general interest weekly magazine, ‘Chitralekha’, has launched its edition in the US.

Next, it hopes to enter Canada as well. The magazine, published in Gujarati, aims to appeal to Gujarati non-resident Indians (NRIs) who wish to be updated with the latest in their own language.

Mitrajit Bhattacharya, publisher, ‘Chitralekha Gujarati’, says, “Four out of every 10 Indians living in the US are Gujaratis. It was a natural extension to take our brand to the largest ‘Non Resident Gujarati’ (NRG) market. We have set up infrastructure in the US to handle printing, subscription, distribution, marketing and ad sales.”

Around 8-16 pages out of the total 70 pages will be localised news from the US and Canada, with the rest coming from India. With an initial print run of 15,000 in the first week, Bhattacharya hopes to achieve a circulation of around 25,000 copies over the next two years. The magazine will be subscription based as well as sold on newsstands.

Business Standard to sign content sharing deal with TV news channel

Financial daily Business Standard is in talks with news channel NDTV to sign a content sharing deal with its business channel, NDTV Profit. Confirming the development, Business Standard, President, Akila Urankar, informed that the dialogue was still not at a stage where specific details around the relation could be divulged.

New Launches

  1. ‘DNA Money’ to be launched as a stand-alone newspaper‘DNA Money’, the business supplement of the Mumbai based English newspaper, ‘DNA’, will now be launched as a stand-alone newspaper. The publication has decided to test the waters with an Indore edition from January 17. However, the plan is to launch the pink daily as a separate newspaper in another 10-12 cities in the next three months.
  2. Next Gen Publishing launches UK's 'Computeractive' in IndiaNext Gen Publishing Ltd (NGPL), a Forbes Group and HDFC Ltd enterprise, has announced the launch of UK's best selling computer magazine - 'Computeractive' - in India. The inaugural issue of the magazine is already on the stands.
  3. Dainik Bhaskar launches 21st edition from UjjainDainik Bhaskar, the second highest read daily in India, is all set to strengthen its presence in the Ujjain market. The publication has planned an edition there, which commences from January 16, 2006. With this, Dainik Bhaskar becomes 21-edition strong. The group has 28 editions in all, including that of Divya Bhaskar.
  4. Rajasthan Patrika launches eveninger ‘News Today ‘Jaipur based Hindi daily Rajasthan Patrika has launched an evening daily ‘News Today’. This development is quite significant for the print industry as after making its place in the metros, eveningers are trying to find its place in other cities.
  5. ‘Sportstar’ re-launched in a tabloid format‘Sportstar’ the popular sports magazine of yesteryears, published by The Hindu group, has been re-launched with a fresh new look in a weekly tabloid format.

No comments: