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India Abroad, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious Indian community newspapers, has been sold by Rediff.com to a US-based Indian-owned cloud computing company following a sharp drop in the weekly’s circulation and revenue. Rediff.com “hand over the torch to” 8K Miles Media, India Abroad said in its farewell editorial on Monday. Founded by legendary publisher and journalist Gopal Raju in 1970 from New York, India Abroad was purchased by India- headquartered Rediff.com in April 2001 in for USD 10 million.
With a dwindling circulation, sharp drop in advertisement revenue, Rediff.com finally sold its lost making venture to 8K Miles Media in September, which is a subsidiary of 8K Miles, the Silicon Valley-based leading cloud computer player.
Headed by Indian-American CEO Suresh Venkatachari, 8K Miles, according to the company’s website, ventured into media business last year with the objective of consolidating highly fragmented South Asian media market. It has acquired several other ethnic publications and radio stations like EBC Radio.
The weekly, in its last issue’s editorial, did not disclose the amount for which Rediff.com sold the newspaper. Hit by anti-print media sentiment prevailing in the market, the current circulation of India Abroad is believed to be less than 20,000; far less than what it used to be more than 50,000 when it was at its peak, with nearly 50 editorial staff on its pay role.
With shrinking revenue, Rediff.com let go a majority of its editorial staff about a year ago, and currently has just four full time editorial staff including its legendary Sri Lankan-origin editor Aziz Haniffa.
Haniffa is a hold name among Indian-Americans and to many old timers. He is the preferred choice of sharing news. “Thank you for accompanying us on every part of this most amazing journey as we discovered together what our incredible community is all about,” the India Abroad editorial said.
8K Miles Media is hosting a holiday party at the prestigious Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York on December 16 to formally announce and celebrate merger of India Abroad.
Sunil Adam, who before the Rediff.com’s take over was part of India Abroad editorial team, has been roped in by 8K Miles Media as its editorial head.