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