STAR India will cease to provide content to Radio City, the popular FM channel. The decision to discontinue the services follows a change in ownership of Radio City.
The FM channel was owned by industrialist Pramod Mittal, who recently sold 75 per cent of his stake to venture fund GW Capital.
Yash Khanna, head of corporate affairs, STAR India says, "STAR had been providing content to Radio City through a different company - a joint venture between Pramod Mittal and STAR India. Following Mittal's decision to dilute his stake, the joint venture company doesn't exist any more. Therefore, we will not provide content to Radio City as of now."
With STAR saying sayonara, the new Radio City management will have to make fresh arrangements to source its content.
STAR India will, however, continue to provide ad sales support to the channel as has been the practice over the years, senior company executives point out.
STAR's stand on Radio City is contrary to what a Delhi-based national daily has recently reported. According to the report which appeared on Monday, STAR India is exiting from Radio City, the broadcaster's radio business, after suffering cumulative losses of around Rs 200 crore.
Peter Mukerjea, chief executive officer, STAR India, offers a different take on the issue. "STAR India provides ad sales support to Radio City, which we will continue to do even after the change in ownership in the FM channel. Therefore, there's no question of STAR India quitting the radio business."
Khanna adds, "As STAR India has an ad sales agreement with Radio City, we were never in a position to invest monies for building the brand", while referring to the report's suggestion that STAR had forked out around Rs 55 crore over the last three years for building the FM channel.
Though there are doubts on Sumantra Dutta's stint as the COO of Radio City, Mukerjea clarifies Dutta will continue to head STAR's radio division.
For the record, Radio City operates four FM radio stations across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Lucknow, while GW Capital is a private equity investment firm that provides financial and intellectual capital to growing, middle market companies in India.
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