The Anchor: 12 media conglomerates to watch out in 2012

02 Jan,2012

By Pradyuman Maheshwari


It’s the season for lists and as one who enjoys making (and reading) them, I couldn’t help volunteer to write this one. There were other contenders too for the 12, but these came out top, and not without reason.


Here goes (in alphabetical order):

1. BCCL:

If this were a brands’ list, Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited’s products would make for at least five in the Top 12. There are various reasons why I am going to watch BCCL very closely.


1. The editorial stand taken by flagship Times of India and Times Now in the election season. It was after TOI’s belligerent stand that Suresh Kalmadi came under fire and later the Anna Hazare movement gained much legitimacy.

2. How TOI publications takes on regional superpowers: in markets like Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad with The Hindu, Telegraph and Deccan Chronicle respectively (they haven’t been able to outwit them), their entry in Kerala and managing markets like Maharashtra where competition will get stiffer.

3. Times Now: Times Now = Arnab Goswami. He can disrobe any political leader on his day and asks the tough question like few others, but it’s not that the channel is invincible in the ratings game as there have been weeks when we’ve seen it trailing.

4. Paid Content. The Times of India model of paid content may be the most aboveboard, and it has indeed put a line under the mastheads of Bombay/Delhi/etc Times that each of them is an ‘Advertorial, Entertainment Promotional Feature’, but that’s not enough. An announcement to that effect must be made on and off on the first page of the main paper which carries a pointer to the supplement.

5. The new leadership team: Their vision and ways have been much discussed outside the portals of the Times offices. (One of the many reasons why I am going to be attending ad-tech Delhi next month is to witness director Satyen Gajwani’s keynote).



2. Dainik Bhaskar

If there’s a newspaper group in the country that continues to surprise all with the rapid strides it is taking in publishing, it’s decidedly Dainik Bhaskar. From the time it started the Jaipur edition a decade and a half back, there’s been no looking back for Bhaskar. The group has been diversifying aggressively over the last few years, given that it achieves much strength from its publishing ventures, its face-off with rivals will be watched closely.


3. Dainik Jagran

Publishers of the largest daily newspaper, the Kanpur-based group has its eyes set on some big things. The acquisition of Mid-Day saw the expansion of Inquilab and a clumsily handled shutting of two English Mid-Day editions. But its war chest is intact and expect some big announcements of acquisitions from the stable this year.


4. Government of India

What’s the government doing in a companies to watch out for list. Well, that’s because one can’t really do without in almost everything a media company does. Last year, we saw the ministry of information and broadcasting flexing its muscles way too much. Regulation, wage structure, renewals of licences and, of course, stray to outlandish comments from the various powers that be. Note: the DAVP which routes all ads to papers could play a crucial role in an election year.


5. HT Media

It publishes two newspapers I enjoy reading – Mint and Hindustan Times, but there’s more reason for it to be featured here: the group has been growing steadily across its various markets, and especially Hindustan which has seen a phenenomenal rise in certified readership over the last two years.


6. MSM

Its three big GEC rivals – Star, Zee and Colors – won’t let it breathe easy, but 2012 could see a golden opportunity for the Multi Screen Media to outshine the big ‘uns. Some of Sony’s fictions are doing remarkably well, the Sab TV magic continues, it’s IPL time soon and other channels aren’t just bystanders. Could MSM be the numero uno by this time next year? It’s tough, but not impossible.


There are six more in the list. But as they do on entertainment television, read about them in the second part tomorrow (as part of Mediaah! which I plan to write more regularly from now on).


Buzz me if you have a story to tell and gossip to share. Confidentiality assured. Andar ki baat will stay under. There are various ways you can reach me: pradyumanm[at], BBM @ 23050B5D, Whatsapp/Gtalk pradyumanm[at], @pmahesh, 98338 76278.


Disclaimer: Although Pradyuman Maheshwari is CEO of MxMIndia other than being editor-in-chief, he chucks those hats while writing Mediaah! So, the views expressed here are entirely his own and not those of the website and the team that runs it (especially the National Sales Head!).


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One response to “The Anchor: 12 media conglomerates to watch out in 2012”

  1. Raju says:

    The Hindu recently launched edition from Mohali and Allahabad and is to spread all over North . Deccan herald also is now in Delhi . Mail today launched its Chandigarh edition 2 days back with more centres in the pipe line. NEW INDIAN EXPRESS is also planning to launch more editions .
    Some 2-3 dailies are reportedly planning to enter Mumbai market including Telegraph and Mail Today .

    Instead of Giving news about only TOI and HT , pl. start giving news about other ENGLISH and Regional language dailies also .

    Also , it is to be noted that while IRS quarterly reports are regularly dished out in the next quarter , there is no reports about half yearly results from Registrar of newspapers and AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATIONS for the last few years . Suppose in the first quarter of every year The 4th quarter results of IRS for previous year and the previous year’s second half yearly ABC reports are released , it would help in comparing the actual reach of newspapers .

    Pl.egularly high light on these news items .