By NIMMI RAGHUNATHAN
LOS ANGELES, CA - Just days after Gannett Newspapers and rival Gatehouse Media (the two largest print media empires in the U.S.) announced plans to merge their operations together, the top executives of India-West and India Journal met and also decided that it was time to join forces. “Given the rapidly changing landscape of print media all across the world, joining forces was not only inevitable, but it also made a lot of common sense,” declared both parties.
The challenges for both India-West and India Journal began shortly after the huge mortgage meltdown of 2008.Then came the rapidly growing influence of social media affecting the bottom line of thousands of small newspapers across the country even forcing some to shut down. Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram became the primary source for several consumers of news.
This national news trend also affected India Journal and India West but the market remained and remains strong for local news. While the national media does not concern itself with any regularity with issues affecting the community, the two papers have focused precisely on this, filling an all-important need.
With this coming together of both papers, one based in Southern California and the other in Northern California, the expectation is that, as one unit, the newspaper will become an even stronger voice of the community, especially with a robust digital presence.
Executives of IndiaWest and India Journal met in San Leandro in mid-July and both sides quickly saw the wisdom of joining forces.“In this all-stock transaction, IndiaWest will be the surviving entity and will conduct an Asset Purchase of India Journal,’’ explained Navneet Chugh, Publisher of India Journal and also CEO of the The Chugh firm.
Chugh will join IndiaWest’s Board of Directors and serve as the general counsel for the company.
Ramesh Murarka, will be the Publisher and President of India West while Parminder Singh, President of India Journal, will step in with the company as Vice President as well as General Manager of the Southern California office. The paper will continue to serve the Southern California community from the same location as the erstwhile India Journal office.
The first combined issue of IndiaWest and India Journal is slated to be the issue dated August 30, 2019. India-West was founded in 1975 by Ramesh and Bina Murarka.India Journal was founded in 1988 by Mohinder Singh.