Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello, I'm back...

Miss Me?
Apparently, quite a few people did. I didn't shut down the blog, but I did take some time off-line, no Internet and the phone number was a new AT&T number and since in the US they charge you for the 'privilege' of getting a text message, I got the news about Mint at a considerable cost to myself. The US is an insane telecom market, and a pretty crazy media market too. But nothing can come close to the Middle East, I was stuck with a bunch of Arabs and Lebanese (including a diva who will make some of our telly Diva's tantrums look ordinary) who could only talk about a shoe. Or the lack of one.
Anyway, back to the media. One person is heading back to the US and two others have run away to Rio. I have previously on this blog admitted that I like Mint, and I maintain that Mint is a great way to catch two-three day old WSJ features for cheap and Mint itself does some pretty good features, but the paper has a startling lack of news nowadays. Which is strange considering the Wall Street Journal carries one hell of a lot of 'news', even though in the US the 'economy' is the big news. Along with a shoe, that is. In my two weeks in the States, I got inundated with shoe references. But that is besides the point really.
Why did Raju N run away? Well, he does get a nice India reference on the resume, but in a way the end of the SAJA-era in Mint will not be mourned by many. Raju, by all indications has been wanting to leave for a while. And that should also help Mint bring down its costs. Suku is a great guy, even though he has a scary fetish with Alan Moore, though that is a hell of a lot better than the fetishes some editors have. But, seeing the 'new' Mint of late, and while it still looks good, it is being hollow on straight news by a suddenly improved Business Standard.
And as one person I spoke to pointed out, the success or failure of an editor should not be judged whether they launched a 'good' product or a 'well-designed' product, but whether the product is profitable or at least has a clear path to profitability. Mint, and to be fair, it is not alone, does not have one. Some predicted that Mint would have a purge, and such a thing might be good for the newspaper. Periodic purges help media organisation just as much as they help political parties (so in that case, why hasn't there been one in ET, the other horribly bloated and rapidly degrading media outlet there? My logic does not always hold true). A leaner, meaner Mint might be good for everyone involved, including HT Media's bottom line. Mint still does some good features, but with the agreement with WSJ going to run out sooner or later, the paper needs to stand on its own two feet, and right now it is barely able to crawl.
And page counts are taking a terrible hit aren't they? The era of 28 pages seems to have come and gone. And as for the couple in Rio, evidently Brazil does not have a extradition treaty with Singapore, but I'm not quite sure of that. Anyway, it also appears that the number of suitors for the network in question now involves every media house there is, but with holes being found during the audit trail, things aren't good. Let me get back up to speed and I'll ply you with more info.


Anonymous said...

ET had a mini purge when IG and team left for Forbes but it looks like that mag is nowhere on the horizon!

Anonymous said...

What about the news going around that Raju N was forced to leave after the publication of an article written by an IAS officer with a pseudonym "athreya"

Anonymous said...

the mukerjees enjoying in rio at the cost of the company in doldrums...whoever the new buyer is, fat jalapeno vishal, big buffoon rajnish should be kicked out first from news x