The latest English Daily to hit Indian news-stands, Sakaal Times run by the Union Ministry of Agriculture (sort of) has seen a show down between the guys who run the paper operationally and the old fogeys who are the editorial chaps, leading to the two top operations guys - Sandeep Bamzai and Amitava SinhaRoy getting into an argument with Paddy and Badshah. The fight stems from the fact that the old fogeys can't quite understand why they are so unimportant, Paddy for one has never reconciled the fact that he is not the editor of ToI anymore, in fact when the new leadership at Times took over a few years ago they were horrified to find out that the guys kept on touting himself as 'The Man' - so much for having anonymous editors (even though, I doubt that is the case anymore).
We hear that Abhijit Pawar is coming here on Monday to sort out the issue, because several young Sakaal insiders tell us that the paper is doomed without Sandeep and Amitava. I have my doubts about the product which I saw in Pune last weekend and was extremely disappointed in the quality of the paper. I know this is a strange thing to say about a publication, but the truth is that the quality of the paper gives one a sort of sonfidence in the product. Anyway, this might also stem from the fact that newsprint is bloody expensive nowadays (I believe that Times' newsprint costs are in the Rs 1,200 crore region) and even several large media organisations are using B-grade, recycled newsprint for upcountry editions.
Back to the point, if the nephew cannot sort out issues at the organisation, their plans for a August launch of their Mumbai edition might be put on hold. The paper was planning an extensive launch program through the second half of the year across the western part of the country and even a Delhi edition. But it appears that the paper might die even before it took off. Pity!