Deccan Chronicle has shut its Bengaluru and Kerala editions amid bank fraud charges. It was operating three editions in Kerala — Cochin, Calicut and Trivandrum. Founded in the 1930s, the company now runs 11 editions across Andhra Pradesh (5), Telangana (2) and Tamil Nadu (4), except Bengaluru and Kerala. The company also operates another newspaper, The Asian Age, across New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, alongside an online edition from London.
Earlier this year, in February, the Deccan Chronicle Holdings decided to shut its financial newspaper across all five editions — New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
DNA too ceased to exist in Delhi and Jaipur around the same time, while it shut the Mumbai and Ahmedabad editions in October this year, thereby going completely out of print.
It hasn’t been a kind year for the print industry as advertising revenues have been declining for most English newspapers, forcing them to reduce editorial bandwidth and shut editions. As per the KPMG report of 2018, TV and print together constitute 66% of the total AdEx of M&E. Print is growing at 3% and is expected to continue to grow at that rate for a few more years, even though many have written off print.
The owning company of the newspaper in case, Deccan Chronicle Holdings, has been under the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) scanner for a couple of years now. In August this year, ED raided the offices and premises of the company in connection with a bank fraud to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore. However, the company’s outstanding dues at all banks put together amounts to about Rs 8,000 crore. In 2017, the ED had attached assets worth Rs 217 crore.
Many shared their concerns on social media about the recent shutting down of Deccan Chronicle’s Bengaluru and Kerala editions: