We missed this earlier: HT Media has appointed Praveen Someshwar as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) effective August 1, 2018, for a period of five years, the media group informed in a BSE filing. Prior to this appointment at HT Media, Someshwar was currently the senior vice-president (VP) and general manager (GM), North Asia, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and other islands in the Asia Pacific region at PepsiCo. He joined PepsiCo in 2009, and since then he has taken up various leadership positions at the company. He is a Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant by a formal education. According to HT’s BSE filing, Someshwar has a work experience of 27 years in leadership, business, and finance roles. At HT Media, he replaces Rajiv Verma, who recently stepped down from his position of CEO at HT Media. Verma continues to be the Board of Directors.

Nikhil adds: Someshwar will be joining the company at a time when the company is facing a controversy about paid news, following a Cobrapost sting operation that alleged that the company executives were willing to publish paid political propaganda as editorial. MediaNama is unable to verify the authenticity of the Cobrapost sting operation.

HT Media Financials

HT Media reported a net profit of Rs 75 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 (Q4 FY18), up 194% from Rs 25.5 crore in the same quarter last year, and down 40% from Rs 124.3 crore in the previous quarter. The decline in ad revenue did, however, have an impact on operating revenues for the quarter, which declined marginally, by 4.1% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, to Rs 561 crore from Rs 585 crore. This significant increase in net profit on a yearly basis is partly because the company continues to reduce its expenses every quarter. In Q4 FY18, total expenses stood at Rs 532 crore, as compared to Rs 567.7 crore in the same quarter last year.