Kannada Prabha, the Kannada daily established by Ramnath Goenka, has a new owner from today, 1 July 2011: mobile phone baron turned businessman and member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Chandrasekhar’s Jupiter Media & Entertainment Ventures began the creeping acquisition of Kannada Prabha, valued at Rs 250 crore, through a “strategic business alliance” with Kannada Prabha Publications in March 2010.
The stake transfer is now complete, according to sources in the know, although neither side has issued a formal communication yet on the extent or completion of the acquistion.
The purchase of the paper means Chandrasekhar now has a Kannada newspaper and a Kannada news channel in his armoury in Bangalore. No other Kannada paper or channel has cross-media ownership.
Former Vijaya Karnataka editor, Vishweshwar Bhat, who was appointed editor-in-chief of Kannada Prabha in February, is slated to take simultaneous control of the Suvarna News 24×7 channel, as group editor.
Kannada Prabha, which has occupied the landmark Express building on Queen’s Road in Bangalore, will move to a new premises in October which it will share with Suvarna News.
File photograph: Make-up men work on Kannada Prabha editor Vishweshwar Bhat for a television commercial for Suvarna News in April.
The deal is subject to the case CS 410/1982 in Madras High Court, pending against all properties of Ramnath Goenka, Indian Express & all other publications.