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Have paper, will poach!

As Mumbai mediaspace explodes, there is a flurry of people movement across levels, across papers. Here is a commentary from the trenches.


5 April, 2005: The upheaval in the Mumbai media matinee is not complete without its share of floor-crossings by journalists. We have tried to keep the news up-to-date and failed. Every time we uploaded this file, there was more news on people movement. Updates will be added later, but till then, here goes the story in brief.

The upcoming newspaper from the Times of India stable tops the charts with hirings in full swing. Initially, it was rumoured that CP Surendran, an old Times hand was sounded out to head the new paper. The name somehow disappeared recently. According to latest reports, Meenal Baghel is to head the new Times paper, which sources say, will be called the Mirror. Several editorial staff at Indian Express have already switched to Times. Friends at the Indian Express and Financial Express tell us that they and their friends have got calls from people claiming to be representing Times for job openings, both for Times and Economic Times. 

Meenal Baghel has till now been City Editor of Mid-Day, Mumbai's little tabloid and the Times' toughest competitor in the city. Before Mid-Day, Meenal was with Indian Express, first in Mumbai and later in Delhi. Before joining Express, she was with, yes, Mid-Day.

IBusiness Standard Mumbai is awaiting a new top honcho from Delhi. Mr Shyamal Majumdar is expected to join BS Bombay in May. Currently, Shyamal is with the Delhi edition of Business Standard. Shaymal joined BS from Financial Express, where he was Resident Editor for Delhi. Before that, he was RE of FE in Mumbai.

Today, we are told that Mr Jagannathan, another BS veteran, is set to join as Business Editor of Zee-Bhaskar's upcoming newspaper. Will Shyamalda take up Juggie's mantle at BS? We don't know. Zee-Bhaskar is currently pursuing a Rs 100-crore suit against the Times group for imitating its teaser campaign. The latest hoardings put up by Zee-Bhaskar across Mumbai stresses on DNA - Daily News and Analysis. 

Apart from his other editorial duties, Mr Jagannathan is currently looking after Business Standard's website. Before BS, Mr Jagannathan was with, which specialised in financial news and research. Prior to Iris, he was editor with Financial Express, which he joined in the 1990s as executive editor. Before his FE sojourn, he worked with Business Standard. So, this will be the second time that Jagannathan -- Juggie for colleagues -- is leaving BS.

Action is hotting up in Mumbai, but Chennai is not far behind. Times had earlier deputed its director corporate Venkataraman based in Delhi to spearhead its Chennai campaign. After a short duration at the helm of Times' Chennai project, Venkataraman quit Bennett Coleman to join Deccan Chronicle. A couple of weeks earlier, it was reported that he has quit Deccan Chronicle too.

Sorry, there are many more names doing the rounds, but is not taking names till their destinations and designations crystallise. We will keep you posted. Meanwhile, if you are the first to know, let us know through the feedback link on this page, or mail us at EDITOR AT DANCEWITHSHADOWS.COM.

Meanwhile, let us do a roll-call at our office. We hope half our staffers haven't quit to join one of the papers mentioned above!


UPDATE 1: Mr Ayaz Memon, Editor, Bombay Times has been chosen as editor-at-large of the soon-to-be launched Zee-Dainik Bhaskar paper. Ayaz will be also on the editorial board. A veteran among cricket writers, he pens regular columns in the Times of India, and is also its National Sports Editor.  Ayaz has earlier been with Cricket Talk as its editor. Before that, he had a successful stint as Editor of Mid-Day, Mumbai's second biggest newspaper.

UPDATE 2: Speculation is rife that the Mumbai edition head of a leading business daily is moving to head a successful English daily from East, which is reportedly keen on the Mumbai media mania. Watch this space for the latest.

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