Rajeev Chandrasekhar buying a Malayalam daily?

21 February 2011

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the mobile phone baron turned media entrepreneur, is spreading his news media presence wings some more in the South.

After buying Asianet News in Kerala and launching Suvarna News in Karnataka, the Rajya Sabha member is about to obtain controlling stake in Kannada Prabha, the Kannada daily owned by the New Indian Express group.

Now, the New Indian Express reports that Chandrasekhar is looking at picking up a 49% stake in the Malayalam daily, Mangalam.

“Consultations are at a final stage for the deal between Mangalam daily and Asianet News, which may turn out  as a big financial breather for  the cash-strapped Mangalam group of publications.

“The idea is to float a joint stock venture with a common banner and bring the daily, which claims a fourth position in the regional language circulation-wise, and its future development under the new company.

“Though the Mangalam group was reportedly angling for a Rs 100 crore through the deal, Asianet News is willing to spare only Rs 20 crore plus for the JV. As per the proposal, various other publications of  Mangalam will be retained by the old company…. The editions of  the Mangalam daily, currently at five, is likely to be doubled as part of  the revamp.”

There is also plenty of buzz in the market that Rajeev Chandrasekhar is contemplating the launch of a web venture and an English news channel directed at markets in the South.

Link via Ramesh P.

Illustration: courtesy The Telegraph

Also read: Rajeev Chandrasekhar eyeing Kannada Prabha?

It’s official: Rajeev Chandrasekhar-KP alliance

Rajeev Chandrasekhar among India Today media barons

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4 Responses to “Rajeev Chandrasekhar buying a Malayalam daily?”

  1. bc Says:

    A brief about Mangalam:

    While the daily was a noted one in Kerala, it was a weekly published under the same name that brought in the revenue for the group. There was a period in Kerala publishing when there were an astonishingly high number of publications with similar names (all starting with ‘m’ or ‘ma’ in Malayalam) and content, all incidentally based in Kottayam. since the content was mostly pulp – romance, crime, drama etc – ‘Ma publication’ became a coloured expression to describe the inherently sleazy nature of such publications.
    In their race, Mangalam even set the record beating its closest rival Malayala Manorama Weekly, though the latter has come up to become the number one (Mangalam’s record stood for several years, they had ‘record-holder’ on the cover, but I am not sure now).
    In an effort to increase the daily’s circulation, its owners tried to enter into an agreement with the traders association. The traders’ body was to be given a share (49 percent?), and in return, most of its members (said to be over 2.5 million) were to subscribe the daily. The arrangement was on for a while, but failed to create any great impact.
    But in the recent times, the paper reinvented itself, to use a cliche, though it was actually a transformation that took place. The change was editorial, thankfully. It started breaking stories, not just creating controversies. For instance, the reports in Manorama has the anti-Left colour, so is the case of Mathrubhumi right now after its owner MP Veerendrakumar came out of the Left front. the papers (their owners rather) are very political and they have a specific stand/agenda on many issues. Mangalam is the freelancer here, without having to carry any baggage. In fact, it was the only newspaper Mr Chandrasekhar could buy into – others are rich enough to ward this investor off, or political enough not to sell out..

  2. RK Says:

    What Kerala needs is a neutral and objective paper which has the welfare of the people in mind.Malayala Manorama is completely sold out to Congress and Mathrubhumi is owned by a politician. The depths to which Manorama has sunk to is shocking. The nail in the coffin was the editorial they wrote recently supporting ex minister Kunjalikutty accused of raping minors. The daily as usual puts the blame on Left when the actual accusation came from the ministers co brother who used to be his partner in crime.The daily suppresses any news which is uncomfortable to its political masters (who visit their Kottayam office while on official visits). The daily which did strong editorials and features when LDFs leaders criticized judiciary is mum about a sitting congress MP accusing supreme court judges of taking bribes to settle a case.No editorial, no POV. Similarly nothing on the subject of a former minister sent to jail for corruption (Balakrishna Pillai). Remember this is the daily which does series of articles and editorials when Pinanryi Vijayan (CPM secy)was included in Lavlin case. The newspaper was most uncomfortable when the Smart city project was recently signed – instead of congratulating the govt for its tough negotiation the daily wanted to blame it for the delay in getting the project off ground.Manorama seems to have forgotten that ppl have different sources of news today and every day they get to know how creatively manorama designs headlines, suppresses news and creates controversies.

    This is the newspaper which writes editorial on railways neglecting Kerala but does not mention the concerned ministers name even once (E Ahmed)because hes part of the Congress led UDF !!!!

    PS: for those interested in “ma” or “pai kili” journalism read manorama write ups about leaders like A K Antony (his annual visit to his mothers tomb, pics of him wearing funny costumes while visiting army camps), Vayalar ravi (he usually replies in english to queries while in Kerala to impress mallu wrkers around him and re inforce that hes not some local leader but a central import. his romance and life was serialised in manorma weekly)

  3. Ramesh Says:

    Thanks, I stopped watching Indian News Channel post the Barkha gate and turn to the net for honest info.

  4. Ravi Says:

    RK has given a correct picture of today’s Manorama.
    They are selective in reporting. Now I do not buy Manorama. I buy Mangalam, instead. Howlong Mangalam will remain as it is today is to be seen if a business group controls it.


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