ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Press-Not in Public Interest

BENNETT, COLEMAN AND CO is the largest newspaper publishing company in India with an annual gross revenue approximating the annual revenues of states like Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura, give or take a few crores. It publishes .such well known dailies as Times of India, Economic Times, Maharashtra Times and Navbharat Times and money-spinners like Illustrated Weekly of India, Dharmayug (Hindi weekly) and Filmfare (film fortnightly). There are a number of other publications in the Bennett, Coleman stables. Not all of them are financial successes and in fact the need to nurse the loss- making publications has been advanced as the justification by Bennett, Coleman for raising the advertisement tariffs of Times of India more than once in the last few months. Bennett, Coleman is controlled by Ashok Jain, whose interests stretch well beyond newspapers to jute, cement, etc. But Bennett, Coleman is perhaps the only goose that has continued to lay golden eggs for him. So when the newspaper company recently announced in the public notices columns of Times of India that it proposes to amend its memorandum of association to enable it to "diversify its activities, particularly in the field of manufacture of cement, chemicals, fertiliser, synthetic fibre, etc" it was news indeed. Especially so since it appeared in the wake or a news report that a move was afoot to merge certain loss-making companies of the Jain group with Bennett, Coleman.

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