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When the President was rendered homeless… Russi Mody – a tribute A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Return to king coal for urea... Another Indian music maestro at the UN Shale gas and its shallow future The power-full Hindujas Put expensive assets created to use... Kudos to NDTV... The Jan Dhan bonanza The Gulf aviation boom Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Protest masters... Don’t seem to feel the pulse… A more liberated TN… Shipping woes of Chennai companies A friendly business group Valli, they are more marginalised Preserving for the future Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Excel Generators provide the vital back-up When Ratan Tata visited SRM Intellectual of rare qualities Demise of a media baron... Poor quality of university VCs Silver Years of Madras Musings When nations steal growth from one another… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Pharma – overdose of copying Revving up the manufacturing sector The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ No Maha Koottani in TN... Quality education through the PPP mode More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Editor's Says More heat than light Making ‘my Amaravati’... Delhi is distant Discoms deserve better… When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Tough task taking states together CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Delhi is distant… How Air-India loses customs... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... For whom the bell tolls? A think tank for Chennai Modi and the lady L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Banning booze... The balancing act Towards speedy justice Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Align crops to agro climate endowments… TIAM turns a full cycle Multi-faceted Venkat Paytm karo... Convulsions in The Hindu This scant respect for Law Engineering seats go abegging Tribute Sri Lanka votes for change Small units prefers to remain small... Wise Presidents Editor's Notes There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... The rise and rise of KCP Adharma of opposition politics Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai A glass full of corruption Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Fortune 500 review Delhi returns to BJP The few handicaps... Why land prices zoom in TN? Parliament in paralysis... Shanti and Sadhana through Music A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Increasing non co-operation of state leaders A rich pool of talent not utilised…. PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Vibrant Gujarat Tatas moving out of urea production... Haul over the coal A professional at the helm of IRDA... Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health An inexplicable neglect More tributes to GR Readers' Mail Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Moily’s bold thrust Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami TGS- The king storyteller Should we change the official year? Funding the un-funded Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Solar thermal shines… The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Telangana in top gear… Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Mersal magnified IPL type auction for VCs? Noble nonagenarians... S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist West Bengal: mindless malignancy Wanted: a second airport for Chennai CII projects higher growth… Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Which side are you, Montek? Come elections, come advertisements... Robber barons everywhere Remembering Indira Sivasailam... The brown list of Venkitaramanan The why of tax incentives A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Plummeting profits of PSBs When online building permits work…. When small is no larger beautiful.. Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW PC’s preference for professionals A welcome initiative by the judiciary Sweet news for TN sugar mills He continues the focus on social amelioration Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Polls and promises An enemy’s enemy is a friend GNS - 100: our first subscriber TELANGANA at last…BUT Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Fuel for thought Strengthen the base... Sweeter prospects for sugar Rahman at CIC For whom the MIDS bell tolls? A yen for wastage… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Auto components surge… Delhi Chalo... SoA @ 80 Nuclear power at the nucleus Kulandai was a giant The rise and fall of Annamalai University Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model ONGC at KG Basin Revive development banks... Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Kinetic Karnataka Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel EVM is tamper-proof Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Waning interest in public discussions… He saved millions from starvation... Cement prices continue to rise… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad B H Kothari - a tribute Boy, can you beat these? No engine for this car CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Welcome GST The Swadeshi Trump CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V China invests in India All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Tax agriculture Make standards certification mandatory... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Breaththrough in malaria control Tribute – M V Murugappan The star of Spencers is no more Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A proud Madrasi …and of a popular trade leader Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Gay abandon in pricing Gas is the way forward Streamlining mandatory third party cover Building loyalty through the stomach Welcome focus on core competence Maximising the micro pricing … IAS invades NDDB... TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu EEC at the National Media Centre Road development slows down Medical costs hit the roof... Solar, solar everywhere … Cutting the nose to spite the face Fortune for Indian Airlines Music happens Quality silica from Neyveli Tatas moving out of urea production... Build close rapport with business leaders GM Technology at last! More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Mu Sigma – is no more The nuclear option Secularism and anti-Hinduism Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy IPL - no surprise this scam An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Where a state respects its litterateurs… WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Contrarian cousins Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Things happen by accident and not by design... Five star activism stalls development activity Roaring Ro-Ro facility London, London Narayan Airlines in India: cost and space Muffled voices for merit… Where is Rajaji? TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The sea- saw battle continues... Why this malaise in medical education? Modi storms Silicon Valley
 
Convulsions in The Hindu

The Hindu family dissensions again hit the headlines. Malini Parthasarathy resigned as the Editor of the paper within days of the launch of the Mumbai edition made with a lot of fanfare. This was ahead of the change expected at the board meeting scheduled a couple of weeks later.

For over 130 years Kasturi & Sons, publishers of The Hindu had a smooth, comfortable and profitable run. Controlled by the family elders of the Kasturiranga Iyengar dynasty, the business dominated the media scene, especially in the south, with little competition. Several of the scions also excelled in accessing technology and management expertise. A generation ago with their interests limited to music, racing and travel, G Kasturi, along with his elder brother G Narasimhan were fully focussed on managing the paper. They helped the company switching rapidly to information and communication technology. In quick succession the paper introduced facsimile editions, electronic typesetting and sophisticated printing facilities, both in Chennai metro and at de-centralised printing outfits in several cities.

The near monopoly position enjoyed by the paper as the premier print medium in English in the south was challenged by other print houses, notably The Times of India. The Hindu tried to meet this by engaging in a price war and also changing many of its rigid stances in regard to advertisements and discounts. It adopted many of the profitable practices of TOI eg.cover jacket ads.

Simultaneously, the business house also experienced the fissures widely seen in the batons passing to the younger generation. In a first major coup, the leadership of G Kasturi was challenged by the combined strength of the children of Narasimhan, Parthasarathy and Rangarajan; his term was ended and N Ram assumed leadership with N Murali as the Managing Director and his other brother N Ravi as Editor with liberal positions for other cousins, 12- all directors of the board.

The next break came when Ram could not play ball and hand chairmanship to Murali and the latter moved out as the MD. Siddharth Varadarajan from outside the family was appointed Editor with a couple of senior executive positions going for recruits from outside, notably TOI. In this arrangement, all the executive positions held by the family members were stripped, entitling them only for the perks and fees as directors.

The next change came with family members demanding executive positions back. The re-grouping of the directors rendered Ram’s position weak. Varadarajan and the COO were shunted out and Malini Parthasarathy took charge as editor.   McKinsey that earlier suggested major structural reforms, including launching a Tamil edition, also provided one of its senior partners, Rajeev Lochan to take charge as Managing Director. For the first time a couple of non-executive directors from outside the family –

S Mahalingam (formerly TCS) and Vinita Bali (Britannia) joined the board.

Malini’s term was not smooth. The new editor had her own predilections and prejudices. Several journalists finding her style of leadership not agreeable quit under VRS. There was also the rumbling over a huge expenditure incurred on the Mumbai edition promoted by her. At the home base, the print publication of Sportstar stopped and the Tamil edition continues to struggle to meet competition from the well-established Daily Thanthi and Dinamalar.

    In the recent re-groupings Malini’s groupwas in the minority. Ahead of the board meeting, she tendered her resignation. There was curiosity over the deliberations at the board meeting post-Malini’s resignation. The only thing that leaked: raising the price of a meal by over 200 per cent to Rs 10 a day (it was Rs 3 earlier). For decades, The Hindu canteen was considered the most attractive spot at Kasturi Buildings. Employees in the general shift liberally dropped in late hours to avail the cheap food. In the night shift of around 40, average attendance used to be a couple of hundreds! One wonders if The Hindu would be equal to criticising  the oil pricing jerks of the NDA II government. One may expect the Readers’ Editor, the paper’s gloriously-called Ombudsman, ponder over this in his Monday column.

Rajeev Lochan is bound to have more plans to cut costs and increase revenues. TOI and other media majors offer a lot to emulate. A five day week can be the next option.

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