Zee News Ltd has informed BSE that it has received an in-principle approval from the company’s board to merge its news broadcasting business with Diligent Media Corporation Limited’s news publication business, which currently prints and publishes the English daily newspaper ‘DNA‘.
The company notes that this merger was decided considering the growth plans of the company and to leverage the existing business synergies between the print and electronic news media.
Launched in 2005, Diligent Media Corporation is a 50:50 joint venture between the Zee group and the Dainik Bhaskar Group, although it is owned and operated by the Zee group. DNA currently has six editions – Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Indore. It also has three editions in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh on a franchisee basis with Dainik Bhaskar Group. It claims to have a readership of 0.97 million as per the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) numbers (pdf), a survey conducted by Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Hansa Research. On the digital front, DNA has an online property DNAIndia.com and has mobile apps across iOS and Android.
On the other hand, Zee News Ltd currently operates national news channels like Zee News and Zee Business and regional news channels like Zee 24 Taas, Zee News Uttar Pradesh, 24 Ghanta, Zee Punjabi, Zee 24 Gantalu and the recently launched Zee Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh among others. It claims to have registered over a 100 million viewers across its news channels in Q4 2012. On the digital side, Zee News has ZeeNews.com, which offers news in four different languages – English, Hindi, Bengali and Marathi.
Zee News Financials: Last week, Zee News had reported consolidated revenues of Rs 79.07 crore for the quarter ending March 31, 2013, registering a 8.4% decline from 86.33 crore revenues in the same quarter last year. It however saw a net profit of Rs 7.39 crore for the quarter, a significant improvement from Rs 3.68 crore loss in the same quarter last year. For the financial year ended March 31, 2013 (FY 13), the company saw consolidated revenues of Rs 303.82 crore, down from Rs 307.22 crore revenues in the previous fiscal. The net profit however increased significantly to Rs 27.37 crore for the fiscal, up from 15.11 profit in the previous fiscal.