India’s top media groups to launch new daily together

NEW DELHI, Oct 3, 2006 (AFP) – Two of India’s top rival media houses Tuesday signed an agreement to launch a new daily newspaper in the Indian capital amid a boom spurred by the economy’s rapid growth. The Times of India Group and Hindustan Times Media Limited said the new English newspaper to be sold in New Delhi will be run independently of the companies’s other ventures.

The two English dailies have been bitter rivals for decades, especially in New Delhi, where they have indulged in fierce price wars and regular spats over circulation figures, with both claiming to be number one in the capital.

“With this partnership, we have a greater chance of success. They (Hindustan Times) don’t have a problem working with us and we don’t have a problem working with them,” said Sidhant Khosla, corporate director for Benett Coleman Company Limited, which owns the Times of India.

The newspaper is likely to be launched early next year.

The companies did not reveal how much they would invest in the new venture.

“It’s hardcore business for the two. Each of them has an extremely loyal and dedicated readership and both understand the changing dynamics of readership well,” said Akhila Sivadas, executiv