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Thursday, Oct 02, 2003

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India Today enters into licensing pact with Reader's Digest

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Oct. 1

THE India Today Group, has entered into a licensing agreement with Reader's Digest in India after the latter ended its association with RDI Print &Publishing - a Tata group company.

Under the new arrangement, Reader's Digest expects a deeper and wider access to the Indian market through the India Today Group. In a statement, India Today Group's CEO, Mr Aroon Purie, said, "We are delighted to partner with Reader's Digest, one of the world's most popular and respected publications. We look forward to continuing the Digest's editorial traditions and introducing it to a wider audience in India, including eventually expanding the franchise in additional Indian languages."

Mr Michael Brennan, Reader's Digest Vice President for Asia-Pacific and Latin America, said: "We are excited about the potential of working with the India Today Group and exploring the multiple marketing channels that this company has developed in India."

Reader's Digest Association Inc parted ways with the Tata group after it demanded a higher royalty. The American parent is believed to have been demanding a royalty of 12 per cent of the annual turnover of the publication while the present owners of Reader's Digest, the Tatas, pay a royalty of five per cent. The annual turnover of the monthly, with a print order of 5.06 lakh copies in India is about Rs 25 crore. However, the India Today Group was not willing to divulge details of the royalty agreement though there has been some upward revision in the fee.

While no major top level changes are expected, the India Today Group is likely to use the direct mailing route to aggressively push the magazine.

With the new addition, the India Today Group will add yet another name to its list of publications. It is the licensed publisher of Hearst's Cosmopolitan, Golf Digest of Advance Publications and Chartered Accountant. The company is also the marketing and distribution representative for Time and Fortune magazines in India.

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