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After CEO exit, Times Now may part ways with partner Reuters

After CEO exit, Times Now may part ways with partner Reuters
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First Published: Mon, Jan 21 2008. 11 32 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jan 21 2008. 11 32 PM IST
New Delhi: Three days after Mint first reported that chief executive officer Sunil Lulla was leaving Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd, it looks like more changes, including the exit of partner Reuters Singapore Pte Ltd, are under way at the Mumbai-based company that broadcasts English news channel Times Now.
Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL) holds the majority in the venture in which Reuters holds a 25.82% stake.
Four senior executives at BCCL and Reuters said the joint venture will soon come to an end. One of them, a Reuters executive who did not wish to be named, said the company was reviewing its business options in India. “We are reviewing our business partnerships in India. While we may end some old relationships, we may enter into new ones,” he added.
The deal between BCCL and Reuters also involves a content partnership. While the financial partnership may end on 30 January, almost two years after the channel went on air, the content deal won’t end immediately, the executives said. Times Now was launched on 31 January 2006.
Another executive among the four said Reuters was exploring a tie-up with Ronnie Screwvala-promoted UTV Global Broadcasting Ltd. Mint could not ascertain the nature of this relationship. A UTV spokesperson did not respond to a telephone query.
Reuters’ parent firm, Reuters Group Plc., is in the midst of a merger with Thompson Corp., pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. Sunil Lulla declined to comment for this story. “I can’t say anything at the moment,” BCCL president Ravi Dhariwal said. Reuters’ South Asia editor for consumer media, Greg Whiteman, declined comment as well.
BCCL competes with HT Media, the publisher of Mint, The Hindustan Times and Hindustan across several businesses.
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First Published: Mon, Jan 21 2008. 11 32 PM IST