Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Back to the media, the gossip about one channel being bought over or not being bought is carrying on, but here is what we're hearing - the valuations being asked by the promoter are far too high, and the buyer might wait for a total collapse in the advertising market before any purchase is made. But it is print where all the fun is happening of late, it seems that a couple of publications which went nuts adding subscribers over the past couple of years are actually cutting back circulation. Not only are pages being cut (the 32-28 move) but one paper believes that to be #2 it needs to cross just 20,000 not touch 40,000, and with high-paid editors to feed, they're halving their print run to that they can stay minty fresh!
Another couple of media groups are bleeding so much that subsidiary publications have been shut down but another group which launched several foreign publications (two actually) has been forced to re-look at those deals. However getting out of the deals will be nearly impossible without a penalty.
So is the age of the 100-page paper over? Actually with the price of newsprint where it is, don't be surprised if the massive supplements start shrinking and some of them actually shut down. As for all those great plans of starting new editions - such as DNA Bangalore, I guess those are on hold. The question is not if we are in bad times, which we are. But, whether we have seen the golden era of print in India and when the media upswing comes will the Internet play a bigger role, which I think it will. Anyway, I promise not to disappear again for a while.
Friday, November 14, 2008
After a few weeks of doom and gloom and media executives crying that a party is over, maybe there is life left in the beast as yet. Or have the carrion eaters arrived to pick from the bone and fatten themselves up. Still, we live in interesting times and timesv will only get more interesting going forward.
More today evening...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I can possibly speculate on a couple of contenders (a lot of speculation surrounds NewsX) - but I find Rajeev Chandrashekhar's move a bit peculiar. There was buzz when Uncle M came down that there might be a tie-up, but entering the news media space today seems a bit silly. I'm sure once advertising budgets start getting 're-aligned' starting 2009, things will just get worse. Anyway, just a couple of paise late in the afternoon. Or evening. You can't really tell given Delhi's abysmal air quality.
As usual, your comments are welcome, but try to avoid the personal promotion comments with a hyperlink added on. I should really switch platforms from Blogger soon. But that is a longer term project...
PS: Should GM be saved? I mean we will still get re-badged Daewoo cars, but the Corvette should not pass into history. Jim Cramer thinks they have to be saved beacuse not saving GM will tip the world into a Great Depression. But really running ads with elephants (and Saif Ali Khan) won't help them in India and personally I think that Obama won't really care too much about Indian operations, so I wouldn't buy anything GM right now.
And why did Baba Gandhi's trip back to college become a media event? Was yesterday such a slow news day?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I’m not saying that we exorcise the demons of 2002, we can’t exorcise any demons in India, some clown will bring up old demons from somewhere all the time in a fit of righteous indignation, but stretching connections and making them flyers really doesn’t work. Which is why I also agree with Vir’s contention this Sunday that we will never have an ‘Obama’ moment in India, because being a member of the ‘persecuted’ identifies our politicians. Heck, the guy who is trying to raise money for the DMK, our dear telecom minister should be fired, but guess what he will soon claim that he was persecuted, just like Salman Khan suddenly discovers Islam after spending a night in the lock-up.
I’m surprised at how little has been written about how Google.org is funding organisations that do the government’s job for them. But no, going after Modi raises the heckles of everyone, after all since Modi=Evil according to some increasingly broke sections of the media. I just find this childish and inane. Slow news day, sure, but for crying out loud.
PS: I wonder what Babu Alva is making of his mother’s impassioned plea for him. All to get a LS ticket from now. I would just like to remind Nivedith of the fantastic success his brilliant campaign had in 1999 back in college. Including the delightful bhaiyya gag that a bunch of drunk weirdos pulled at one at night. Yes, that was fun.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I drove the Audi R8 today, smoked the tyres a bit and had an absolute blast, and before that ran about with the new Maruti A-star, which wasn't bad at all. I'm wondering if I should go down to the Renault F1 run down Rajpath tomorrow morning. Plus, if any event guys are watching this, please, please skip the dancing girls at events. Getting a team of badly dressed hookers to dance does not make your event a success. Enjoy your weekend, and if you haven't been reading Newsweek's insider account of the US Elections you're missing something.
Just one last thought, now that Barack Obama has won what happens to Newsweek's resident twat - Fareed Zakaria? I've heard rumours that he might get an administrative post doing the rounds of Delhi journo circles, which is scary. But the man writes badly and is extremely irritating, but anyway...
Ten minutes to go and the Arsenal still lead!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
But it became like Al Gore's win in 2000, someone at HT didn't exactly look at the numbers properly because it seemed that the IRS had changed its methodology, and since ToI's piece wasn't self-congratulatory (or an attempt to get onto the honours list) and after talking to the smarter stats folks, there was all-round sniggering. People at BSZ Marg, are still trying to figure out where the numbers came from. But, don't expect the last of this today, there will a bit of back and forth.
PS: Have you noticed how the papers have begun to get thinner and ad-edit ratios have begun to change. The collapse of the realty market in the NCR is showing - the days of 32 page editions might be over pretty soon and maybe by early 2009 the major papers will revert to 24 page editions.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
But two hours of madness came to a dramatic end and what are the chances of another black man, albeit one who doesn't wear lipstick (instead his lips show the signs of long-term tobacco abuse) winning a big event. I mean two years ago no-one had heard of him outside a few select circles, and now Barack Obama might take the big prize. I don't know if he will be a good president, but my god he is an awesome speaker. The problem for America is that the world wants Obama to win and if Obama loses, the US will lose so much credibility with the rest of the world, no matter what they do it will take them a long time to recover it. If Obama wins he will have quite a honeymoon period with the rest of the world, and supposedly 'equal' countries in Europe will wonder why they haven't elected minority leaders to top positions.