afaqs!

Battleground Mumbai: DNA poaches Response executives from TOI

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | April 25, 2005
N B Verma, Jayesh Asher, Rizwan Khatri and Shashi Sinha will join Diligent Media shortly


Even as Bennett, Coleman & Co (BCCL) is on a recruitment drive for its soon-to-be-launched paper Bombay Mirror, the ZEE-Bhaskar combine - which is set to launch Daily News and Analysis or simply, DNA - is poaching talent from BCCL. & #BANNER1 & #

After Ayaz Memon, national sports editor, Times of India, put in his papers to join the DNA editorial board, it appears four senior hands in the Times Response team in Mumbai will be heading DNA's way shortly.

These include N B Verma, general manager, Response (in charge of Consumer Connect division); Jayesh Asher, chief manager, Response; Rizwan Khatri, senior manager, Response (Navbharat Times); and Shashi Sinha, manager, tender & notices.

Verma, the senior-most of the lot, who spent some 23 years at BCCL, will join DNA as vice-president, sales in the second week of May. The others, who put in their papers last week, may join the company a little earlier.

The appointments have been confirmed by Suresh Balakrishan, director, sales & marketing, DNA.

DNA has been in the news for its billboard campaign and the controversies around the creatives. (See the campaign: Phase I, Phase II, Phase III) The marketing campaign, which saw a phased rollout, now includes celebrities such as film maker Yash Chopra and theatreperson Dolly Thakore.

Meanwhile, according to market sources, more people from the Response and editorial departments of The Times of India group could make a beeline for DNA in the coming weeks. When questioned, Balakrishnan simply proffers, "We are getting enquiries."

Diligent Media, the JV between ZEE and Dainik Bhaskar, has acquired office space in the Kamala Mills Compound area in downtown Lower Parel. Rival Hindustan Times is headquartered at Mhatre Pen Building in nearby Dadar, Mumbai.

Hindustan Times' Mumbai launch is expected to happen sometime in July, while DNA will make its debut by August/September.

Bombay Mirror, meanwhile, is likely to hit the stands next month, and is billed as a 'broadloid' (broadsheet plus tabloid) that will be unlike The Times of India. Its editor is former Mid-Day hand Meenal Baghel, and staffers include people from The Indian Express and Mid-Day among others. 2005 agencyfaqs!

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