light-reading-india

United Business Media* (UBM) in India has shut down all of its technology publications and is probably looking to exit the media business, three senior executives who were with the company confirmed to MediaNama. In India, UBM operated Light Reading India, CRN, InformationWeek, EDN India and TechOnlineIndia.

Anees Ahmed, publisher and group director at UBM India, when contacted said “that they are revamping the business” but did not elaborate on the same.  An SMS to Ahmed asking for a confirmation of specifics mentioned in this report remained unanswered at the time of publication.When MediaNama contacted UBM’s board line in Mumbai, they said they would be unable to comment on developments at present. MediaNama also called UBM’s Bangalore office, and the person who picked up said that there is no one working on the editorial side there.

A senior editorial executive, previously with the company, said on condition of anonymity “They have plans of exiting the media business but they will still retain their exhibition business. Globally, beginning from 2013, UBM has begun divesting its stake in the media business and they are looking to sell publications or shutting them down.” He added that there are a number of executives who have left the company who are still awaiting their full and final settlement. The publications officially closed shop on January 15.

A look at Light Reading India shows that there have been no new posts following January 14 and most of the posts in January do not carry a byline. TechOnlineIndia’s last post was on December 1 2014, CRN’s last post was on January 15 and InformationWeek’s last post was on January 14. Many recent updates do not carry a byline.

From what we could glean from LinkedIn,  Salil Warior, group commercial director for CRN and Interop, Gagandeep Kaur, executive editor at Light Reading India, Srikanth RP, executive editor of InformationWeek have moved to other roles from UBM India. Gagandeep left Light Reading India in August, while Srikanth RP has moved to Cybermedia’s Dataquest as executive editor in January 2015. Salil Warior left UBM in March last year and has been working with I3R Global as director commercial operations since April 2014.

Sources also told MediaNama that there were about 42 journalists who were employed the tech media business, most of whom have moved on to other media publications.

Global restructuring

It’s also worth noting that Light Reading founder Stephen Saunders bought back the website from UBM last year. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but UBM will retain a minority stake in the business. There is word on Light Reading India which operated as a franchise in India.

Interestingly, UBM’s chief executive officer Tim Cobbold, who was roped in last year for a £ 1million pay rise, is on temporary absence for health reasons. His role will be covered by chief financial officer Robert Gray for up to two months.

Globally, UBM consolidated its North America and South America operations into a single organization with streamlined management as UBM Americas. UBM Americas will be headquartered in New York and led by Sally Shankland. Sally was previously CEO of UBM Connect, UBM’s non-technology-related business in the US and Mexico. The integration of UBM Tech and UBM Connect will commence immediately, with UBM Brazil following in January 2015.

Programming journal and website Dr Dobb’s also ceased publication of new content at the end of 2014 after 38 years. Dr Dobb’s editor Andrew Binstock explained that United Business Media had decided to “sunset” the site, though all existing content will remain available.

Disclosure: Some of the UBM India publications at might have competed with MediaNama.