CNBC picking up stake in Business Standard?

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: The board of TV18 is to meet on March 5, with “any new business” marked on the agenda. And already rumours are abuzz in the capital that Raghav Bahl‘s ambitious company which has two business (CNBC, Awaaz) and two news (CNN-IBN, IBN7) channels plus a clutch of websites in its cachet, might be making its first moves towards a print foray.

The buzz is that TV18, a listed company, is interested in picking up a stake in Business Standard, the business newspaper which was among the first to benefit from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through the Financial Times of London.

BS, originally part of the Ananda Bazar Patrika stable of Calcutta, has been part-owned by Kotak Mahindra. Its editor T.N. Ninan and his wife Sevanti Ninan have a stake in the paper. Bahl, it is learnt, may be wanting to pick up some of the couple’s holdings, although Ninan (Mr not Mrs) is a regular on NDTV.

Although BS is the best-read among Indian business papers, with a riveting edit page, the publication is in need of funds as Economic Times ups the ante to take on Hindustan Times‘ new business daily, Mint. For TV18, newspaper will complete its business bouquet.

That’s today’s irresponsible rumour-mongering.

Logo courtesy: Gawker

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