Clean up time at India Today group. After shutting 3 regional print editions, inks pact with Times of India group to sell FM network ‘Oye’

16 Feb,2015

By A Correspondent

 

The India Today group’s commitment to the media is known. But, then much as emotions and gut influence the way media business and specifically P&L projections are made,  it’s finally the colour of money or the bank balance that’s the final decider.

 

We know how it works, albeit in a small, small way.

 

Last week, we learnt of the news that three editions of the India Today magazine were being shuttered. The Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam were reported to be suspended due to indifferent financial conditions. Sad, not just for the India Today group, but also for print journalism (and journalists) in these three languages where news television seems to be booming.

 

In radio, last Thursday, the stock exchanges were informed of a “non-binding” MoU being signed between Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, a Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited-promoted company, and TV Today Network Limited, an India Today group-promoted companies. Both ENIL and TVTN are listed in the stock exchanges.

 

Here’s what the announcement said:

Entertainment Network (India) Ltd has informed BSE that the Committee of Directors of the Board at a meeting held on February 13, 2015, noted that the Company has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with TV Today Network Limited (TVTN), in relation to the proposed purchase of seven radio stations from TVTN, subject to fulfillment of the contractual obligations (which may be agreed between the parties) and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals including permissions from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

 

Simply put, ENIL, the owners of the Radio Mirchi brand, have agreed to buy Oye FM, the seven-station FM radio network  of TVTN, subject to some contractual obligations and government approvals.

 

Oye 104.8 FM, it may be remembered, had undertaken a high profile relaunch in 2010. It was earlier called Meow FM, working under the same frequency. Meow was a women-centric talk radio station. The TV Today group once also owned Red FM. It exited that venture in 2006.

 

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