New Delhi: Prabhu Chawla, editorial director of the Chennai-based newspaper The New Indian Express (published by Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd), which also publishes The Sunday Standard, spoke to Mint about the new Sunday newspaper.
The New Indian Express is published from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa. The company also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Tamilan Express (Tamil), Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Varikha (Malayalam). Its affiliate, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd, publishes the Kannada daily, Kannada Prabha.
Express Publications (Madurai) has been sued in the Delhi high court by The Indian Express Ltd for using the term “Express News Service” in The Sunday Standard. Chawla claims this has been prompted by a wrong interpretation of the settlement between the heirs of Ramnath Goenka, founder of the Indian Express Group, that saw the emergence of the two companies. Edited excerpts from the interview:
TheIndian Express claims that TheSunday Standard’s usage of the term Express News Service in Delhi isn’t permitted.
Their (The Indian Express) stand is completely wrong and based on a misunderstanding of the family settlement. The matter is sub-judice and we will place the correct, factual and legal position before the honourable Delhi High Court.
What was the reason behind starting The Sunday Standard?
Three reasons— (The) Sunday Standard was always a beloved title of the Express Group from the days of Ramnathji (Ramnath Goenka) and our chairman (Manoj Kumar Sonthalia) was nostalgic about it; the title was part of the New Indian Express Group following the family settlement; I feel that Delhi has grown into a sophisticated and newspaper-savvy city and that today’s readers will welcome a fresh product like The Sunday Standard, just as they have welcomed a fresh product like Mint.
Do you have plans to start a magazine?
We have no plans as of now to launch a magazine. We do not know how things will shape up in the future. Like any company, we are always alert for opportunities that come up.
How is The Sunday Standard different from a weekly magazine?
This is the question that publishers and editors must answer in their own way. You produce Mint and Lounge. How does one differ from the other? The same principle applies to all.
Do you plan other editions of the paper?
We do have plans to start The Sunday Standard from a couple of other cities soon. Since we have got an encouraging response from Delhi for The Sunday Standard, I can only say that our next couple of editions will also be in the North.