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