Thursday, October 30, 2008

Looking for buyers?

At least two large English-language led publishing houses are on the block, several more regional language publishers and television channels are having serious problems raising funds which are also drying up for large broadcasters - one of whom I believe has only six months worth of cash left in the bank. Despite Chiddu's statements and the Congress protecting those who are close to them (and have historically been close to them), some bailouts might be very difficult to push through. And even if a bailout package is well designed, banks will still charge usurious rates though not the 25-odd per cent they're charging realty firms. Yes, funds will be found for the big players, but lets not beat around the bush, things are bad. Organisations which splurged on launching new products are regretting the investments and I really won't be surprised if you see a big-name casualty before the end of the year. Even if it is claimed to be a pause.
Nothing of course is as terrible as the stuff that is masquerading as US Election coverage in ET - which is absolutely pointless, but I have to admit US coverage by correspondents based there - including Chidanand Rajghatta, who is a pretty good writer and has made sure that ToI has a clear lead in US coverage, has been very poor in this an election year.
Too much agency copy, no feel to the reportage. I know the chips are down, but it would have been nice to send a seasoned Indian political reporting veteran over to the US - say a battleground state like Ohio, Virginia or Florida. US Election coverage, and lets not kid ourselves, the next US President will impact all our lives immensely, would have made for interesting reportage. And election reportage is always best written. I mean here we are heading into an election ourselves where we can vote out the most incompetent government in decades, maybe we could learn how the Americans are going about doing the same thing. Even coverage in the news channels has been mediocre to say the least, though UndieTV (which might soon lose its undies) has been decent.
I went to watch Russell Peters perform at Siri Fort last night, and despite the crappy traffic and ratty seats (though my friend who got the tickets ended up with some pretty awesome seats) the show was great fun. Well, unless you happened to the Uncle and Aunty with the two hot daughters sitting in the front row. Other than the fact that the uncle happened to be Pawan Munjal of Hero Honda, it was pretty good, but to be fair to Munjal, when he left the auditorium his face was as deadpan as it always is (and he got ribbed worse than Vineet Jain at last years show). Great show, I haven't had so much fun in a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mr perennial pessimist, if you are darn sure of 'two large english led publishing houses' are sinking, at least show the balls to name them. i know who you meant but if one of them happened to be the it group, would you written so irresponsibly. seems you are getting kinda kick by pressing the panic button.