On Late night with Conan O'Brian which used to air on CNBC before that channel became press release TV there used to be a regular vignette on what the child of a celebrity hook-up would look like. So, how will this - the unlikliest hook-up of all look like? In fact, a distraught friend from Hong Kong asked how this could happen - the temperature in Hell it seems has falled to 273 below zero and pigs are growing wings!
Well, lets see now, what do we know so far? Kamlesh Singh and Soni Sangwan will be the RE and DRE of the venture which might be called the 'Delhi Mirror' which if it is like the Mumbai Mirror, Times' alternative paper in the other city will be a vapid and completely pointless newspaper and it knew it. But then again, I loved the Mumbai Mirror, it was the best potty reading, and don't get me wrong a good potty paper is extremely important. It also means that I will get to read Shekhar's movie reviews, which finally will mean that Delhi readers will have decent movie reviews to read and a reviewer who has the balls to give movies half a star.
The problem is simple, where on earth are they going to get writers from? I mean look at media world in Delhi - the very worst journalists/writers are earning pots of money rehashing press-releases. So, where will these folks hire from and what is the competition like?
The hiring aspect I can't answer since I assume that the new paper can't hire from HT or ToI. Unless of course, the entire purpose of the paper is to serve as a shunting house for discredited journalists, of which there are several both on BSZ and KG Marg - even though I hear that at both places there is some serious shunting going on or plans of serious shunting. I mean there was a furious email from the new boss at HT asking why a senior bureau chief's copy had 'long sentences' and this after another bureau chief was fired some time ago (well, thats not the official kahani, but you know). And it seems people from both places are looking for oppurtunities elsewhere - according to the grapevine half of them want to join my organisation, leading to Bossman, much to his amazement getting some very incredulous emails and SMSes.
And then there is the competition - namely a new-look Mid-Day in Delhi (run by the Bombay Mid-Day guys), not the sad one we have here and a rehashhashhashed Today Morninger. Well, Today is very honestly time-pass unless you want to look at retuarant reviews which is all it seems to carry and well, it does have the best comics of all the papers but a five-day a week product won't cut it because their entertainment coverage is quite poor - too little TV and movies. Both the Mirrow and Mid-Day will eat it alive because of Bombay linkages, however, Today's ace up its sleeve is the India Today Groups Media Mart plan across the Delhi Metro system - currently they have two at CP and one at Kashmiri Gate but 14 more are coming up at high-density stations and that distribution edge could be a massive advantage. I mean, after all and I'm sorry to say this, great editorial content (even though I can pretty much guarantee you that all three papers will have pathetic content) counts for nothing unless your distribution structure rocks. But then again, the new paper will have the benefits of Bennet and HT's distribution, so Mid-Day is the one which might need help. But unless either of the three papers launch it will be impossible to say who wins.
But, I would really like to see this bastard child grow up, because its gonna be one heck of a kid one way or another! What do you think?