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Observer to call it a day

By , agencyfaqs! | In | November 09, 2000
The Ambani family, promoters of Observer India Ltd, has decided to stop publication of the two newspapers The Observer of Business and Politics and the Sunday Observer from December

agencyfaqs! News Bureau
NEW DELHI, November 9

The Ambani family, promoters of Observer India Ltd, has decided to stop publication of the two newspapers The Observer of Business and Politics (OBP) and Sunday Observer from December. If and when that happens, it would be the first time that the Ambanis have actually exited a business.

A Mumbai-based spokesperson for the Ambanis confirmed the move and added that the Ambani family has decided to exit from the print medium "within a suitable time frame". Market observers point out that the two newspapers are being folded up because the print medium business does not have any synergy with the other business interests of the Ambanis, including their forays in area of Internet and other Net-related infrastructure.

Interestingly, OBP was the first to float the idea of a pink business paper on the lines of Financial Times of London. In its 10-year stint, the OBP has had some stalwarts from the world of journalism as staffers and editors including Prem Shankar Jha who was the first editor of a paper. Two of OBP and Sunday Observer's former editors are currently members of Parliament.

While OBP debuted as Business & Political Observer in October, 1990, the Ambanis bought The Sunday Observor from its original owners almost around the same time. A Hindi edition of the Sunday Observer, a weekly newspaper, too was started in 1990, but was closed down in 1992 as it was not earning enough revenue despite having a sizeable circulation.

The Ambanis had been looking for a buyer(s) for the two publications for the past several months. Over the last 10 years, the Ambanis have invested close to Rs 100 crore in the publications, including a video newsmagazine division which was run under the brand name of Observer News Channel.

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