STAR News is launching a new show - 'Saas Bahu Aur Saazish - Kyunki Har Serial Kuch Kehta Hai'.
It's a first-of-its-kind show in the Indian television news broadcasting business. The daily show will be aired from today, October 11, at 2.30 pm, with a repeat telecast at 11.30 am, on October 12.
It seems STAR News, with this title 'Saas Bahu Aur Saazish - Kyunki Har Serial Kuch Kehta Hai', is trying to play a spoof on its sister channel STAR Plus, which is known for its Saas-Bahu soaps.
Uday Shankar, officiating CEO, editor and director, STAR News defends. "Saas Bahu serials are there in all general entertainment channels including Sony and ZEE. So, why single out STAR Plus?" he asks.
The new programme will talk about what's happening in the television entertainment business, sociology of the serials, politics of the character and also have exclusive interviews with popular television actors.
"The programme will also play the role of a critic and critically examine the serials - be it their story line, or the characters. And, if required, it will also take potshots on them." Shankar says, "The mandate is to reveal the true picture to the viewers."
However, he clarifies, "STAR Plus is so strong and powerful with its programming that this show will not affect the image of the channel at all. Our sole motive is to fulfill the communication need of the channel."
Apart from playing the role of a critic, the new show will provide information about the shows on entertainment channels and also talk about the business (based on TAM reports) and 'behind the scenes' information on these shows.
With this show, STAR News essentially plans to cater to more women viewership and that's also the reason why this show has been scheduled for the afternoon time slot.
Shankar says, "50 per cent of the people enjoy watching entertainment programmes - especially the female viewers. News channels are essentially watched by older males. We hope to broad-base our viewership with this programme." "We will have a content that looks beyond the traditional news," he adds.
And, to bring in more youth viewers, the channel will be launching a few more shows very soon. The STAR News head honcho says, "This new trend of programming will set a trend in the industry. So, it will work for us as well as other news channels."
He adds, "The viewership profile of news channels can't change overnight as you can't expect women and youth to be interested in political news. But with this kind of off-beat programmes, we hope to increase their interest in news channels."
STAR News has also had a complete makeover of its evening programming line-up, recently. The changes include new timings, new formats and a revamped presentation style. Significant, among the many changes being introduced, is a redefinition of prime time on the channel with special evening bulletins now starting at 5 pm and extending right up to 1 am.
Shankar says, "The changes have been triggered after a careful analysis of news viewership patterns that suggest a longer time spent with significant traffic starting as early as 5 pm in the evenings."
Notable changes have been brought about in some of the channel's popular news bulletins like 'Desh Videsh', which now becomes a two-hour bulletin with special segments on business, sports, crime, entertainment and lifestyle, and weather.
'Aaj ki Baat' will present the top political stories of the day at 7pm. This bulletin will be anchored from the state-of-the-art and unique video wall, and will also have a special section which will feature a public interest story.
'National Reporter' which presents latest news of national importance now becomes a 1-hour special bulletin starting at 8 pm. And, 'National Reporter Special' which takes an in-depth look at a particular story of the day will be aired at 9.30 pm.
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