Television

NDTV Profit, 'Business Standard' to share content; Govind Ethiraj joins BS as new media editor

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MUMBAI: Leading pink daily Business Standard is expanding its Internet activities and is in the process of stitching a content deal with NDTV Profit to leverage existing resources of both the organizations.

As the first step in this game plan, BS has signed on the former corporate editor of CNBC-TV18, Govind Ethiraj, as editor of its new media initiative.

"We are getting into a content sharing arrangement with NDTV Profit, for mutual benefit. The precise contours of this will be worked out, and depends on what works best," a source in Business Standard (BS) today admitted to Indiantelevision.com.

The BS source pointed out that Ethiraj will be "driving this (initiative) from Business Standard and will also be in charge of BS website's content operations.”

Indiantelevision.com learns from media industry sources that the BS-NDTV Profit deal is likely to include marketing and other revenue generating activities like organising and promoting off-line events jointly, apart from content sharing.

However, this deal gives rise to tantalising opportunities of expanding the relationship into other areas of mutual benefit like designing TV shows for NDTV Profit, a business news channel launched in 2005.

Though not ruling out the possibilities of expanding the relationship to other segments of the media, the BS source said at this moment such questions are "premature."

Broadly speaking, Ethiraj's area of responsibility is likely to cover Internet, TV, mobile telephony, broadband and, of course, television. However, in the immediate to near term it will be Internet that will be his focus areas. This will also include driving content on BS’ Internet activities through fare generated by the newspaper and NDTV Profit.

It is worth noting here that Business Standard Ltd, a Kotak Mahindra group company, has flirted with television production before. In the late 2000s, it produced business programmes for the national broadcaster Doordarshan through its television division BS TV.

Ethiraj earned his stripes at The Economic Times and moved to CNBC TV18 when the television news business was just beginning to create an impact.

It was in 2003 that BS, the subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra, entered into a strategic investment with global publishing house the Financial Times of the United Kingdom, which bought into the daily by picking up a 13.85 per cent equity stake.

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