Baru’s bye-bye to BS

12 Sep,2011

By Pradyuman Maheshwari

It’s a story which MxM should’ve flashed on Friday. But guess our machinery is not so well-oiled yet. We got to know about it only the next morning and coincidentally Mint had also featured it the same day. Since we do not have an edition on weekends, we could get away with it.

I have interacted with Sanjaya Baru just once. He was keynote speaker at an exchange4media conference on public relations last year. His speech, very anecdotal, was excellent. And I thought it was a brilliant idea to have him, he was indeed the star of the day.

Earlier, Baru’s entry to Business Standard was received with much fanfare. He had after all held the all-important job of press adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There was much talk also because editor-in-chief T N Ninan was going to be stepping down and also laying the roadmap for the future.

Baru, as per media blog , has posted the following status message on his Facebook page: OK, now it is final! From 1st November I step down as Editor, BS and take over as Director, Geo-economics and Strategy at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London ( But, based in Delhi.

A quick look at the IISS site revealed, that Baru had joined the thinktank in September 2008. He is designated Consulting Senior Fellow for Geo-Economics and Strategy with expertise in South Asia and Economics.So we guess he had this consulting assignment even when he held the BS job or it’s just that the IISS site wasn’t updated. Nothing to be alarmed about either.

Meanwhile, more on Shailesh Dobhal and his appointment as BS resident editor for Delhi tomorrow.


The IISS site with the Dr Sanjaya Baru bio

The Mint Story

The Sans Serif blogpost

A BS piece on geo-economics: (if you don’t know what geo-economics means, check the Wikipedia descriptor)

Super stories

Bio: National Univ of Singapore’s School of Public Policyand India Habitat Centre award jury bio

MxM story on Shailesh Dobhal appointment as RE (Delhi)


Weekly v/s Monthly Ratings for News TV


The various media players are lucky that given all of what’s happening in the country, MIB mandarins especially mantri-mahodaya Ambika Soni would rather not be bothered about the age-old problems of TAM ratings. Now, don’t be too surprised if you hear shouts that the only reason why the news channels aired so much of Anna Hazare was because they wanted to up ratings.

Discerning advertisers and their media agencies will tell you that they aren’t too bothered about weekly spikes. It’s a long-term game and save the ads and claims and oneupmanship in ads in the trade media, the weekly v/s monthly ratings debate is poppycock.

TAM has been smart in saying that it will want to hear the voice of all stakeholders before taking a decision. If the newswallahs are indeed serious of getting a decision, am sure they can prevail upon the agency and advertiser folks. But even as NBA has been emphatic in its demand and believes all the malaises of the business can be solved with this move, we are not sure if independently some of the stronger members would want it. At least one such member sent us a wicked grin smiley on the instant messenger.

Perhaps powerful broadcasters like Uday Shankar or Puneet Goenka could help broker some peace.


Our friend and former News Broadcasters Association (NBA) board member Rohit Bansal on the Zee News website

Report by Anita Sharan with a view from LV Krishnan, Punitha Arumugam, Navin Khemka, Broadcast Editors Association secretary N K Singh and an NBA Statement


Gruesome pictures

Comments in Sevanti Ninan’s Hoot:

In The Hindu

(I wonder why the aside that Even a tabloid like Mail Today was more restrained. Agreed it’s tabloid in size and goes in for smart packaging, but Mail Today has been a fairly sober paper. We don’t think it’s right to rubbish tabloids thus).

The Hoot on Times Nows horrific pictures


Social media karo!

This one should specially interest our friends Rajesh Lalwani (Blogworks), Parveez Modak (Hanmer MSL), Raju Raut (Deadline) and Rohini Kapur (Sepia Media). The Times of India reports that the department of info technology (DIT) has advised all government departments to make social part of their day-to-day work to communicate with citizens.

If the government departments decide to give out work to external agencies, then it could be windfall for the social media agencies. Or at least professionals.

“The civil society is making effective use of social media. But in the absence of a framework on use of social media, government organisations have restricted its usage. Government officials are unsure whether to use it for official purposes or not. Hence, framing guidelines for usage was important as the medium is highly effective, speedy and reaches a large number of citizens,” additional DIT secy Shankar Aggarwal Timess Swati Shinde Gole last week.


Remembering Funnie…

Just learnt that it was Indrajit ‘Funnie’ Lahiri’s birthday yesterday. Brilliant teacher, great human being and a fun guy to have a drink with.

My first contact happened thanks to Mediaah. He was a regular reader and would be in active contact until I moved to Pune and became good friends. Wish he was around to see MxMIndia and Mediaah’s third coming.

I had wanted to institute an award for young media school talent in Funnies memory. I tried suggesting it to two award organisers I was associated with, but it couldn’t happen. I am not very sure if MxMIndia will want to institute awards for news TV, but need to find a way to keep his memory alive with the frat and the generations to come.

Tailpiece: Wanted robot journalists
You have to read this. A start-up in the US has developed technology that can mimic human reasoning and write text. We’ll be waiting for this technology to happen in India. Wink, wink.


Buzz me if you have a story to tell. Confidentiality assured. There are various ways you can reach me: pradyumanm[at], 23050B5D, Gtalk: pradyumanm[at], @pmahesh, 98338 76278

Post a Comment 

One response to “Baru’s bye-bye to BS”

  1. Rohit Bansal says:

    Dear Ed:
    I look forward to the success of your new endeavours.
    Thanks also for linking to a guest column i wrote for IANS on the NBA. Sorry, if i sound unimpressed with NBA chieftains trying to link a change in frequency of TAM ratings to change in quality of news that member channels broadcast. Ask honest guys like Rajdeep and they might confirm what I have argued.
    Best wishes.

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