Lexicon Media Signs Deal With The Times Group For Pune Mirror Newspaper 

Pune Mirror
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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, February 13, 2021: The employees of Pune-based tabloid Pune Mirror heaved a sigh of relief today as the newspaper got a new lease of life. 

Earlier, it was being speculated that the newspaper, which is part of The Times Group, will shut down operations.

On Saturday, Lexicon Media signed a deal with MMCL (Metropolitan Media Company Limited), which is a subsidiary of the Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL). The new agreement will come into effect from first week of March.

The details regarding the franchise agreement have not yet been revealed. It has not been disclosed whether Lexicon Media has acquired the newspaper or just partnered with The Times Group. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the newspaper industry across India. In December last year, the Times Group had announced the closure of Pune Mirror. 

Since the announcement, two employees had left the newspaper as there was uncertainty over the period till the newspaper will continue operations.

With the signing of an agreement on Saturday between Neeraj Sharma-led Lexicon Media Pvt Ltd and MMCL, which runs Pune Mirror, all such speculations have been put to rest.

Daily tabloid Mumbai Mirror turned into a weekly edition

In December last year, the Times Group had announced that the management had to take the decision due to the economic crisis that came up due to the pandemic.

The statement had further mentioned, “Fifteen years ago, the ‘city that never sleeps’ had a new and good reason for staying awake – and for waking up, when it did manage to get some sleep: Mumbai Mirror. Feisty and fearless, energetic and enthusiastic, playful yet punchy, it lived up to its name from the day it was born, mirroring Mumbai in all its myriad moods. It was as local as Mumbai’s locals – the lifeblood that keeps the city on track and moving. The paper became such an integral part of the reader’s life, driving the narrative of the city, that it was decided to extend the experience to Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad.

Sadly, just as the pandemic, lockdown and unprecedented economic crisis have laid low many great ideas and initiatives before they could fully take root, they came as a body blow for the still-young brand. Not only has the newspaper industry been among the hardest-hit in terms of revenues, it has been weighed down by an import duty that has added to newsprint costs. With the long-held hope of a stimulus not materializing and the Indian economy now officially in recession, it is with a heavy heart that the group has decided to cease publication of Mirror in Pune and relaunch Mumbai Mirror as a weekly. They will, however, continue to have a strong digital presence.

Following months of discussions and deliberations, we have made this extremely difficult and painful decision to recalibrate our portfolio of publications. We truly value the contribution of our journalists and other staff towards building such a strong brand in a relatively short time, and thank them for their hard work and great effort.”

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