India Today Group makes key changes in top brass

Prabhu Chawla to be Editor (languages) and CEO of a new entity; MJ Akbar to oversee India Today (English) and Headlines Today

Sep 24, 2010 01:51:00 PM | Article | Arati Rao

On the eve of its 35th anniversary, the India Today Group has made key changes in its editorial cadre. Prabhu Chawla, editor of India Today magazine, will move into a new editorial and corporate role as editor (languages) and chief executive officer of a to-be-formed corporate entity.
Additionally, the Group has appointed veteran journalist MJ Akbar to oversee the Group’s flagships, India Today (English edition) and English news television channel, Headlines Today, as editorial director.

Commenting on the change, Group editor-in-chief and chairman Aroon Purie said, “The India Today Group has always believed in extending its franchise and in investing in journalistic excellence. With such a mission we are constantly monitoring the rapidly changing media landscape and market. As a result we have come to the conclusion that a large part of the future growth in media will come in the language space. To fully realise this potential I am really happy  that  we have decided to hive off our language publishing business into a separate company under the able leadership of  Prabhu

Chawla, who will be Editor (languages) and CEO. He will not only manage the existing publications but launch many more. I am also equally delighted at MJ Akbar's appointment as Editorial Director - India Today English Edition and Headlines Today. He is one of the most respected and talented journalists of the country.  I am confident that these flagship and iconic brands of the Group will grow and flourish under MJ's leadership.”
Chawla said, “I am a great believer in the Indian languages publishing domain and I have personally seen the rapid growth of language titles in India and within the India Today Group. I am honoured to be given the challenge and an opportunity to scale this business for the existing titles and launch new titles across various languages. I see a great future for significantly large and profitable businesses around language content  platforms including digital, events and other non-traditional channels.”

Akbar stated, “India Today, English edition, is an iconic  publication that has maintained its leadership position for over three decades and I am delighted to be given the mandate  to steer it into the future. It will be my endeavour to aggressively address the challenges of the dynamic media landscape and to position the magazine as the most authoritative and credible source of news led analysis and opinion that will resonate well with the 'new age' reader. Likewise, I firmly believe that Indian news television has great untapped potential, and it will again be my endeavour to take Headlines Today to greater heights through strong and engaging news television journalism of a different order altogether.”

Ashish Bagga, chief executive officer of Living Media, believed these were very big and positive changes for the group and expressed confidence that they will not only make the existing publications  and brands stronger, but also make them ready for the addressing the dynamics for the future.