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MEDIA - BUSINESSWEEK, FORTUNE INDIA EDITIONS

 

BusinessWeek, Fortune to launch India editions

Global magazine giants head for India!

BY A CORRESPONDENT

March 19, 2005: Wait, wait, there is a job for everyone! No stampede please, dear journalists, there is something for you! The applications have not yet been called, the dates have not yet been fixed, but this much is crystal-clear: Fortune and BusinessWeek have both decided to set up their Indian editions. Oh, no.. someone is jumping the queue..
After years of post-dotcom stagnation, the Indian mediascape is showing signs of life, again. Apart from domestic media giants racing towards a war in the print media, the foreign titans are also joining the fray.

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When Harold (Terry) McGraw III came calling on March 17, 2005, few expected him to set a cat among the pigeons. For background, Mr McGraw is the head of McGraw Hill Companies, which owns, among others, global rating agency Standard and Poors and Business Week. People expected him to talk about the recent open offer made by S&P for domestic rating agency Crisil, which he did. Then, he said BusinessWeek is planning to bring out an Indian edition.

“First, we would like to look for a local partner for printing and publishing BusinessWeek in India carrying local stories,” Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and CEO of McGraw Hill Companies said. “At the next stage, we will like to pick up equity in an Indian media company. Once we start printing here, we would like to carry more local stories advertisements,” he said.

The Delhi-based Cyber Media had a few years back made an unsuccessful attempt to publish a BusinessWeek India edition. Its application was not cleared by the Information & Broadcasting ministry. Meanwhile, India’s rules regarding foreign direct investment in media changed.

According to a report in Business Standard, McGraw Hill’s application to start publishing from India is pending with the government for about an year.

The very next day, The Financial Express, rival to Business Standard said in a front page story that Fortune, one of the world’s most prestigious magazines, is planning to bring out an edition from India.

According to Fortune International editor Robert Friedman, the company is looking at the possibility of bringing out an edition from India and “will take a final call only later.”

Currently, Fortune, which is famous for ranking the world’s top 500 companies, is sold in India through a tie-up with India Today owners Living Media India Ltd. Mr Friedman said in the report that his company has a good equation with India Today, and that it will be his first choice, when looking for a tie-up. However, he added that the magazine is also talking to others for a Fortune India edition.

"I think we are too expensive and we have not invested enough in promoting the magazine in India. There is an ongoing battle on how to price the magazine. Some of them say that it should be priced higher because it is a premier magazine. But for better circulation, we need to price it lower. We will figure this out," Mr Friedman told leading business daily Business Line .

Indian business magazine scene is by and large barren, compared to the lively general magazine segment. The existing business oldies – Business Today and Business India – have hardly changed across the years. Only Businessworld of ABP Group and Outlook Money of Hathway have been able to make an impact, both of which lean heavily on personal finance content.

Fortune and Business Week have significant presence in China, supposedly a Communist nation. Business Week has been publishing from China for about 17 years now. Both have licensing agreements in dragon land to print their magazines. In India, both have circulation below 10,000.

Watch this space for the latest media news. Dollar dreams are here again!

BY A CORRESPONDENT
 

 

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Meet the new James Bond  

Deccan Chronicle in Chennai  

 Times to launch 'serious' newspaper  

 Indian Express buys stake in Mid-day

 Indian mediascape set to change

 Mediaah shuts shop almost as soon as Mediaah! Strikes! Again!  

 Slum demolitions and the false choices of Shekhar Gupta

 A journalist lost in a dance bar

 Oscar winners 2005

 The Ambani feud, and the pimping media  

 Feminism in the time of MMS and spycams

  Oscars 2005 potential nominees and winners

  Hindustan Times coming to Mumbai

 Creative bend: Debutant director Satish Menon's Bhavum

  Daniel Goddard - portrait of a photographer  

 The junketeering journalists of India

Bhansali regains his art... 

Review: RK Laxman's Tunnel of Time

Alok Kejriwal interview

DWS casting couch scoop!

 

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