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Businessworld on the block

September 03, 2013 09:48 IST

BusinessworldKolkata-based media group Anandabazar Patrika has put its Businessworld business magazine on the block.

The management hopes to clinch a deal by year-end, failing which even a shut down of the fortnightly cannot be ruled out, according to a top official, who did not want to be named.

Launched in 1981, the publication from ABP’s stable was recently turned into a fortnightly from being the country’s only weekly business magazine. The editorial employees’ strength of the magazine stands at around 50.

“We have been trying to sell it for quite some time. Talks are on now,” the ABP management official told Business Standard.

The magazine industry in India has been reeling under pressure, especially due to the digital overdrive taken by most media companies.

The magazine market is of about Rs 1,650 crore (Rs 16.5 billion), of which a Rs 400-crore (Rs 4-billion) pie is of business magazines.

ABP has an undisputed dominance in eastern India with The Telegraph English daily and Anandabazar Patrika Bengali newspaper.

The ABP group has seven other periodicals apart from Businessworld.

D D Purkaystha, ABP managing director and chief executive officer, declined to comment.

Amit Patil, a media and capital good analyst at Angel Broking, said: “Magazines never picked up in India in terms of profitability.

“Increasing cost of newsprint and influx of social media are resulting in no interest in magazines.”

Only few players would be able to survive in the long run with extremely niche content, he added.

Costs have gone up by over 10 per cent this year while growth in the segment has been muted at seven per cent.

Industry data show magazines’ readership stands near 83 million, while business magazines have a readership of about 3.63 million.

Recently, the Outlook group had shut three of its magazines -- Marie Clare, Geo and People.

Digbijay Mishra in Kolkata
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