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Media giant Times Group advises against speculation as reports claim it has split

A section of Indian media is reporting that The Times Group, officially known as Bennett, Coleman & Co, has been split among brothers Samir Jain and Vineet Jain, the sole owners of one of India’s largest and oldest media groups.

There is no official confirmation regarding the business reorganisation under the new deal, but several media reports claimed that the elder brother, Samir Jain (69), was poised to get the print business, which includes marquee titles like The Times of India, The Economic Times and regional language papers Navbharat Times (Hindi) and Vijay Karnataka (Kannada), along with their online editions.

Vineet (59) was supposed to get the Times Network, the broadcast arm of the Times Group; Entertainment Network India, which houses the radio business and other divisions such as Filmfare, Femina, their event IPs (Filmfare Awards and Femina Miss India) along with their respective online editions.

But after reports emerged on details of assets being divided, the group released a statement on Sunday internally to its key management, calling the speculations incorrect, reported Exhange4Media, a media industry website.

The communication from Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd’s (BCCL) Company Secretary Kausik Nath read, “As the KMP of the company, it is my duty to inform that employees should not go by speculation in the media about the reorganization of the company. Please be notified that social media has been speculative and incorrect.”

It has been reported earlier that the brothers have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to kickstart the process, with law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas reportedly managing the legal technicalities.

The reports also claimed that Samir was already managing the print division, while Vineet was running TV, Radio and Times Internet.

One of India’s oldest media firms
The Times Group is one of India’s oldest and most influential media companies.

It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world, with its first edition published in 1838.

The newspaper saw several owners changing hands until the Jain family took over in the early 1960s.

There have been reports of leadership uncertainty due to alleged growing differences between the brothers on how to run the businesses. The talks of spilt were going on for about two years. WION

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