The eagerly awaited Telugu daily Saakshi finally hit the new stands yesterday. The paper comes with all colour pages and is priced at rupees 2. The paper has come as a sort of disappointment to many people. YS Jagan promised to come up with a world class daily. The paper is of high quality in terms of newsprint and the quality of printing.
But it the contents that differentiate a newspaper form its competitor. Saakshi is primarily targeting Eenadu and Andhra yothi. The paper has not come up with any special or exclusive stories. The layout is also a bit confusing and readers are finding it difficult to navigate through the pages. Even the colours are very bold and they are dominating the news completely.
The colours are supposed to complement news and make the page that much more attractive. But it is having the opposite effect. The paper also comes up with an information overload. There is a lot of news that is of use only for a miniscule segment o the readers. As such, many people are simply running through the pages with nothing much of importance to read.
Andhra Jyothi and Eenadu can heave a sigh of relief as Saakshi cannot give much competition to these two papers, at least not in the immediate future.
The war for supremacy in the print media has now turned serious with the advent of Saakshi. All these days Ramoji Rao ruled the roost in Andhra Pradesh and was the uncrowned king of the media scene.
Ramoji Rao's word was law. He wrote against not only the congress but also about anyone with whom he did not see eye to eye or felt were a threat to his monopoly.
In the name of media freedom, Ramoji Rao could do anything and still get away using his clout as media baron. Of course, a pliant government with Babu as the chief minister only gave him that much more license!
Now with Saakshi hitting the stands, the scene has changed completely. Congress MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar was the first to point a finger at the irregularities in Margadarsi financiers. Now Saakshi is unearthing his murky deals one after.
Ramoji Rao is now for the first time feeling the media heat. He is now literally under the scanner. He was forced to increase salaries for his staff following threat from Saakshi and he also perhaps for the first time in 25 years, raised the commission for the hawkers who sell Eenadu – this too after facing the heat from Saakshi.
Ramoji Rao is now feeling very insecure. He was forced to take notice of the campaign by Saakshi and respond. Eenadu wrote today that a 33 days old fledgling Saakshi was trying to take on a mighty 33 year old media giant Eenadu. He is now by his own admission wilting under the heat of the media exposures – something which he had used against his opponents and rivals all these years.
Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of chief minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy is now all geared up to launch his prestigious Telugu daily newspaper 'Saakshi'. The paper was supposed to hit the market on January 26. But it is now likely to be launched only on February 22.
The advertisements for the paper are all over the town. Many big vinyl hoarding have come up at all strategic places in the twin cities. The advertisements are also being aired on TV. The catch word in all the advertisements is the title of the newspaper 'Saakshi'. Saakshi means witness.
A print ad shows a young Indian apparently returning to India. He looks like a software engineer. He says that day is not far off when the people the world over will queue up to apply for work permits at the Indian embassies. It is an obvious reference to the belief that India is soon going to be global superpower. The ad says that the people will be 'Saakshi' to such a development.
2008/1/30 21:09:51 This is one mother of all battles. The media war in Telugu will be taken to an altogether different level soon. All this with about 10 crore Telugu people as 'Saakshi'. It is going to be a '10 Kotla Telugu Prajala 'Saakshi'ga Media war!'
Come February and it will be a 'Do or Die' battle for Jagan! YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the rich entrepreneur son of chief minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy is launching 'Saakshi' Telugu daily with all full colour pages on February 22.
Chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy drew the first blood by going all out against media baron and Eenadu chief Ramoji Rao. YS Rajashekar Reddy did not like one bit the way 'Eenadu' was defaming his party and the government day in and day out. YSR then decided to take Ramoji Rao head on and end his monopoly in the media market.
What better way than by starting a daily newspaper and a TV channel? Jagan recruited journalists by offering them unheard of pay packets. An ordinary sub editor who was drawing around 15 thousand rupees is now getting about 50,000 rupees in Saakshi. Jagan recruited many of his new staff by luring them away from Eenadu.
Jagan has also built up a paid circulation of about 12 lakhs over the past three months. This is roughly a little more than the circulation of Eenadu. It is another mater though that a majority of the subscribers belong to one particular community.
It now remains to be seen how far the new daily will be able to make an impact on the people of Andhra Pradesh and stand up against the mighty Eenadu. For it is the prestige of no a less a person than chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy that is at stake!
The latest entrant to the print media scene, Saakshi owned by YS Jagan, son of chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy has not taken too long to reveal its true colours and direction. On day two, it published stories on how the Ramoji Rao owned daily Eenadu and the pro-Babu daily Andhra Jyothi were maligning the congress. Minister Shabbir Ali blasted these two papers in a ‘special interview’.
In today’s edition of Saakshi, there is a big story on Babu and his deal with IMGB. The firm was given hundreds of acres at Gachibowli at throwaway prices. There is widespread accusation that the IMGB is a fictitious firm and it has no expertise in construction stadia and conducting games and sports. Babu is accused of making thousands of crores in this deal.
2008/3/3 14:04:58 The long-delayed Telugu daily ‘Saakshi’ is finally hitting the news stands on March 24. The paper is being published from a record 23 centers. The initial print order is said to be about 12 lakhs, much more than the present circulation of Eenadu.
Ramoji Rao managed to cross the 10 lakh paid circulation mark after almost 25 years of hard work. Jagan is now attempting to do that from day one. The fight is now going to be very interesting.
The paper ‘Saakshi’ is being printed with all color pages, another first in Telugu. The circulation department has been very active and the sales force has so far managed to enroll more than five lakh subscribers. The number will go higher by the time the paper hits the market.
Meanwhile the number two Telugu daily at present, Andhra Jyothi, is now bracing up to face the challenge from Saakshi. Many media analysts fell that it would be Andhra Jyothi that will take the brunt of Sakshi more than Eenadu.
But that is not what YS Jagan is targeting. Jagan wants to hit Eenadu the most. Will he succeed and make his father proud and happy? Will YSR have the last laugh?
We will have to wait for a few months to know the result!
2008/3/17 17:03:12 TDP chief Chandra Babu Naidu is now very serious about launching a daily newspaper. There was a party organ called ‘Telugu Desam’ some time back. But it was wound up after being run for some time.
Babu now feels the need to have a paper of his own as his biter rival YS Rajashekar Reddy’s son is starting ‘Saakshi’. Eenadu is pro-TDP but the relations between Babu and Ramoji Rao are not they used to b when Babu was in power.
Murali Mohan and Chittoor MP Adikesava Naidu are the main promoters. Babu will hold a majority stake in benami names. ABK Prasad has been roped in to edit the paper. The paper has been christened as ‘Aksharam’.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy, is now all set to launch his Telugu daily Saakshi on February 29. The paper will be an all color one, the first in Telugu. Jagan employed his senior staff by paying fancy salaries to journalists who crossed over form Eenadu and Andhra Jyothi.
The paper is set to give some tough competition to Ramoji Rao's Eenadu. According to inside information, Jagan plans to price the daily at just 2.00 rupees. All the other Telugu dailies barring Andhara Bhoomi are priced at Rs. 3.00.
The price factor is only one aspect. The other is that Jagan is reported to have collected a lot of information about the activities of Margardarsi Financiers and also some loopholes and violations of building norms in Ramoji Film city. Jagan will take off from where congress MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar has left.
Saakshi is giving sleepless nights to the management of Andhra Jyothi. While the idea of Jagan is to take on Eenadu, it is Andhra Jyothi that is expected to be hit badly in the initial stages. If Saakshi is priced at Rs. 2.00 then the other newspapers will have no option but to follow the suit. For the readers, however, the coming days promise to be lively and interesting.
2008/3/9 18:54:09 YS Jaganmohan Reddy son of chief minster is very happy with the recent railway and general budgets. The soft budgets send a clear signal that the elections are round the corner. By all accounts, the elections will be held later this year, either is September or October.
Jagan is now all set to launch his Telugu daily ‘Saakshi’ from March 24. The paper is coming just in time for the elections. As there are still some six or more months for the elections, he will have enough time to get the paper rolling and also promote the achievements of his father as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan also wants to take on Eenadu and Andhra Jyothi on the price front. It is understood that he will fix the cover price of Saakshi at just 2 rupees. This will naturally get the paper many new subscribers. Andhra Jyothi ad Eenadu then may be forced to follow suit, at least for some time.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy started the Telugu daily ‘Saakshi’ early this year. The paper is doing reasonably well. The main aim of Jagan is to overtake Eenadu and end its media monopoly in the state.
Jagan is also getting ready to launch his own 24x7 TV channel ‘Saakshi TV’ later this year. It is now understood that Jagan also plans to enter film production in a big way.
He will set up his own banner for this purpose. He wants to make commercials films with top stars like Mahesh Babu, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh etc. His first film is likely to be with Mahesh Babu.
Jagan is reportedly in touch with director VV Vinayak for his first film. If everything goes according to plan, the film with Mahesh Babu may go to the set in early 2009.
After sparring bitterly for nearly two decades, Y S Rajashekar Reddy and Chandra Babu Naidu now seem to be ready to pass on the baton to their sons.
Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is ready to launch a daily newspaper – Saakshi and also a news channel Indira TV. Work in the daily is in full swing and the paper is likely to hit the newsstands on Sankranthi.
Meanwhile Chandara Babu Naidu is stated to be toying with the idea of starting a daily newspaper. The paper will basically back the ideals of the TDP. Bur Babu also wants to make the paper into a full –fledged daily and not as the mouthpiece of the TDP.
Work on the paper is expected to commence from March 2008. The paper has been tentatively titled ‘Aksharam’. Babu wants to make his son Lokesh as the MS. So will it now be Saakshi Jagan vs. Aksharam Lokesh?
The TDP chief Chandra Babu Naidu got a surprise call from chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy yesterday. YSR had called to extend a special invitation to Babu for the launch of his son YS Jagan’s Telugu daily newspaper ‘Saakshi’.
Babu was a bit taken off by the rather unexpected call and invitation. Not only was YS asking Babu to attend the function but he was being asked to be the chief guest at the function and inaugurate the paper.
Babu is a staunch loyalist of Ramoji Rao and a supporter of Eenadu. YSR is a bitter critic of Eenadu and is running a feud with Ramoji Rao.
It is understood that YS wanted to put his bitter rival Babu in an embarrassing position by extending an invitation to Babu. Babu asked YS to give him some time before he could give his assent. YSR called up Babu again and this time Babu was well prepared. Babu thanked YSR for the invitation but declined gently the invitation to be the chief guest at the inaugural function.
Saakshi is expected to go all out against the TDP and Babu in particular. The paper is said to have collected enough ammo about the irregularities committed by the TDP regime. The information will be used in the run up to the next assembly elections.
2008/6/4 18:10:44 Megastar is very serious about launching his political party. Chiranjeevi by his charisma and star pulling power has managed to attract crores worth of media publicity almost free of charge in the past six months.
But Chiranjeevi feels that in order to take his message and ideas to his fans and party workers in a much effective and credible way, he needs to have his own daily newspaper. So plans are now afoot in a big way to launch a daily newspaper.
The paper will be in all color pages and will have features on par with newspapers like Eenadu, Andhra Jyothi and Saakshi. Chiranjeevi is now in the process of giving a final shape to the paper.
A well know ex-editor is assisting him in his plans. The name ‘Telugu Velugu’ is in consideration for the daily.
2008/3/29 9:06:20 Media baron and chairman of Margadarsi financiers, Cherukuri Ramoji Rao is now in real trouble. The Supreme Court on Friday set aside his plea seeking a stay on the investigations by the state police into the alleged irregularities by the state government and investigating agencies.
The Supreme Court has now made it clear that the state government can now initiate action against Ramoji Rao for any irregularities committed by his group. If found guilty, Ramoji Rao will have to pay a fine of 7,000 crore and also face the prospect of a two year jail term.
Jagan’s Saakshi naturally went to town with this development. It carried two big stories very prominently on page one today. Ramoji Rao and his son Ch Kiron are now on bail for four months in connection with a criminal case related to land in Visakhapatnam.
2007/10/22 8:50:30 A new Telugu daily newspaper Surya hit the stands this morning. Chief minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy formally inaugurated the paper at a special function at Ravidra Bharathi in Hyderabad on Sunday. N Surya Prakasa Rao is the man behind the paper. He has considerable interests in real estate and is also a senior producer with many films to his credit. With the entry of Surya the Telugu media scene has hotted up. Besides Eenadu, Andhra Jyothy, Andhra Bhoomi, Vaartha, Andhra Bhoomi and Andhra Prabha, Hyderabad Mirror we now have an eighth daily in Surya. Another daily Saakshi promoted by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of chief minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy will be launched on Sankranthi early next year.
2011/8/15 10:40:09 YSR Congress Party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy will approach the Supreme Court on Tuesday to challenge the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order asking the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe into his alleged illegal assets.
Speaking to media persons on Monday at the party office after flag hoisting he claimed that his friends have invested in the Saakshi, Bharati Cements and power projects in a normal course with good faith in him and earned substantial profits in return. Giving an example he said that one of his friends, Prasad invested Rs. 256 crores in Bharati Cement and earned returns of Rs. 500 crores.
Jagan said that the allegations against him were being leveled only after he quit the Congress party. He said that character of his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who played an important role in bringing back the party to power in the state and the centre, was being maligned. 'It is all because they don't want a man, who has left the Congress party to come back to power in the state,' he fumed.
Jagan said that it was not proper to level charges against the person who is no more in the world. Criticising the Congress party he denied all the allegations of amassing huge wealth when his father was the Chief Minister. Defending YSR, Jagan said the decisions to allot land or provide other benefits were taken only after the approval of the cabinet.
Targeting TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, he said even Babu allotted thousands of acres of lands to private organization during his nine year long regime and why he was not being questioned about the same. Jagan said that Babu had earlier termed the CBI as Congress Bureau of Investigation and now how was asking the same CBI to enquire into his assets case.
The YSR Congress party chief said that his father followed the same guidelines, introduced by Chandrababu Naidu, in allotment of lands. He also denied that he ever influenced any decision of the government and he never visited the chief minister's camp office or the Secretariat.
He challenged his opponents to ask the people like Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, that how many times they called up the chief minister to influence the decisions.
Jagan said that the Prime Minister did not order CBI inquiry into 2G scam case involving crores of rupees, but using a minister from the state the Congress leaders are targeting a young and helpless man who has no support.
Jagan claimed that Saakshi is on ninth position in the country with a circulation of 14.5 lakh and a readership of 1.4 crore. (INN)
The talk doing the rounds in some media circles is about Chiranjeevi’s next move. According to some unconfirmed news reports, Chiranjeevi is said to be toying with the idea of having his own Telugu daily newspaper.
Starting a new daily is a long and cumbersome process. So Chiranjeevi is said to be eyeing the recently launched Telugu daily ‘Surya’. The paper is owned by N Suryaprakasa Rao. He has interests in real estate and films. The paper is not doing as well as expected and with the launch of Jagan’s Saakshi, the circulation of Surya is likely to go down further.
Suryaprakasa Rao is said to be eying some suitable buyers for some time. If Chiranjeevi wants, then Surya paper will be his on a platter. Suryaprakasa Rao also has self interest in this. If Chiranjeevi launches his party and contests the elections, he may give a ticket to Surayaprakasa Rao and even make him a minister.
CBI conducts nationwide raids in Jagan, Emaar cases
2011/8/18 9:40:30 The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday launched a full-fledged enquiry into the alleged illegal assets case of Kadapa MP Jagan Mohan Reddy. A day after registering the FIR, the CBI started searches at various places,, including the residence and offices of YSR Congress party president, to collect physical evidences.
Besides Jagan's case, the CBI also began probe into the Emaar deals. It carried out raids at the residence of AP Principal Secretary (Home) BP Acharya at Mahindra Hills. Acharya was the APIIC Managing Director when the YSR Government allotted land to Dubai-based Emaar Properties. The CBI has also raised the houses of famous businessman Nimmagadda Prasad for his connection with investments into Jagan's companies.
Armed with search warrants procured from the CBI Special Court, the CBI team carried out searches at over 90 locations in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Viskahpatnam and other places. Raids were also conducted in Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkotta and Mumbai. Office of Bharati Cements and Saakshi, Telugu daily and news channel were also raided. As many as 32 Corporates and some individuals who invested in the firms owned by the Kadapa MP are now under CBI scanner and their premises have been raided.
The CBI had initiated probe against Jagan Mohan Reddy's alleged illegal assets following the directives of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Based on separate petitions filed by Textile Minister P Shankar Rao and TDP leader K Yerran Naidu, the High Court had recently asked the CBI to probe the alleged illegal assets that the Kadapa MP had amassed.
Similarly, the AP High Court had on August 10 ordered a CBI inquiry into the land allotments made to Emaar by the then Rajasekhara Reddy Government and dilution of the stake of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) in the joint venture with Emaar for the development of a township in the city.
Separate teams were formed to conduct the searches after the central agency on Wednesday approached the CBI Special Court to seek search warrants for over 90 locations owned by as many as 32 corporates and some individuals who have invested in the firms owned by Jagan. (INN)
Ekta Kapoor continues to hold sway over the television industry. And how. We have been informed by an insider that Ekta Kapoor has issued a circular to all actors of Balaji Telefilms, asking them not to attend or perform at the Gold Awards, to be held in Mauritius in September 2007.
Vikas Kalantri and Pooja Ghai of White Leaf Entertainment and Anuj Saxena of Maverick Productions Private Limited, recently announced their joint venture the Gold Awards - the first ever global television awards! This is in direct competition to Ekta's own awards ceremony. She too is planning a grand awards ceremony, to be held in December in UAE. Hence, possibly, the circular.
Says an actor on condition of anonymity, "Balaji is having its own awards function, and it want its actors to attend it exclusively. Ekta wants the show to be the best and we have all signed the circular. The circular says that the Balaji Awards will be a grand event, so to make it a success all actors must be present. There will be some actors who will attend the Gold Awards. But Balaji cannot afford to let go of its actors for three days at a stretch, when they go to Mauritius for the Gold Awards. This request has been made in order to make Balaji's first awards show a success."
Says Pooja Ghai, "I have heard about this circular too, and do not know what to say. I do not know why Ekta is doing this, she must be having her own reasons for it. However, actors from Balaji did come to our launch party, due to their friendship with us, despite the circular. It is, finally, every actor's call and I cannot blame anyone who does not attend our awards function."
Adds Pooja, "I really do not think it will be a hassle for people to go to Mauritius for three days, especially since I have given them two-and-a- half months' notice. Besides, they can very well co-ordinate their work schedules for the such a big event, it isn't such a big deal."
Another organiser of the Gold Awards says, "She stopped most of her actors from attending the party last night. She cannot dictate terms to actors, I don't think this kind of dadagiri should be tolerated by the actors. But they also have very little choice as they earn their bread and butter by working in her serials."
Apparently Prachi Shah, Neena Kulkarni and Sanjeeda Shaikh, all Balaji actors, will be attending the awards ceremony in Mauritius. However, Sanjeeda has refused to perform in the award ceremony, after signing Ekta's request letter.
Most Balaji actors dare not speak up. When contacted, Riva Bubber simply said, "No comments."
Another Balaji favourite, Ronit Roy said, "I have nothing to say about the Gold Awards, but if Ekta wants me to be present for the Balaji Awards, I will surely be there."
Says Anu Ranjan, host of the Indian Television Academy Awards, "Last a few of Ekta Kapoor's actors (Prachi Desai, Sanjit Bedi and Ram Kapoor) backed out of our show just 24 hours before the award function. Luckily for us it didn't really matter as we got bigger stars like Mandira Bedi and Mona Singh to perform for our show. But if Ekta is repeating the same thing again, it is really not fair as nobody can dictate terms to any actor who is being honoured for his work. Besides if they are not allowed to perform at award function that means the production is depriving them of the extra cheques, extra exposure and the mileage that are likely to get when they perform at an award function."
Meanwhile, we spotted Mouni Roy, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Reshmi Ghosh, Vikas Sethi, Ritu Chaudhary and Ali Asgar at the Gold Awards launch party. We don't yet know whether they plan to attend the actual ceremony.
Other Balaji actors like Ram Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Naman Shaw, Pulkit Samrat, Riva Bubber, Saakshi Tanwar, Rakshandha Khan and Shilpa Saklani gave it a miss, despite being invited.
We have to wait and watch, to see what happens next. And whether Ekta has her way or not.