24 August, 2005: HT Media Ltd, which owns Hindustan Times and Hindustan is planning to launch radio station very soon. This was stated by Shobhana Bhartia, HT Media vice-chairperson. Initially, HT's FM radio services will be rolled out in Delhi and Mumbai, and may be subsequently extended to other parts of the country.
HT may also enter into electronic media like television at a later stage. But as of now, radio is the priority.
HT Media already has an understanding with Richard Branson's Virgin Radio (Asia) to launch a radio station in India, for which a memorandum of understanding was signed in December 2004.
The company has recently ventured into the capital market with an initial public offering (IPO) to raise approximately Rs 407 crore. Out of the proceeds of the issue, Rs 76.48 crore will be used for capital expenditure, Rs 76 crore for sales and marketing and Rs 10 crore for its FM radio business.
HT Media has already fixed a price band of Rs 445-530 for its IPO. Some of the other media entities currently listed on the stock market include Mid-Day, NDTV, Mukta Arts and Balaji Telefilms. Indian Express (Mumbai) is expected to come out with an IPO towards the end of this year.
HT is also planning to launch a business & financial daily, which will be rolled out after a study of the market. HT recently launched its Mumbai edition, barely a month ahead of DNA from Diligent Media.
BY A CORRESPONDENT