After the launch
of CNN-IBN, the Global Broadcast News (GBN) network has announced its integration with Channel 7, the 24-hour Hindi news channel from Jagran TV Pvt. Ltd (JTL). GBN will now have a strong line-up of news channels, CNBC TV18, CNN-IBN, Awaaz and Channel 7.
According to the official release, both partners will have equal ownership interest in Channel 7. Though the officials of both channels declined to comment on the development, a source reveals that nobody has been informed yet about the stake, which will be finalised only after listing on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The process of the formal takeover and investment is scheduled to happen in the next 60 days once the board, shareholder and regulatory approvals have been received.
The TV 18 group will manage the editorial, production and other operations of Channel 7, while JTL chairman Mahendra Gupta will continue to lead the board of the joint venture. As per the official communiqué, Gupta says, "This strategic partnership will mean a bigger platform for Channel 7, which has proved its mettle in such a short time."
Raghav Bahl, managing director of TV18, says, "The TV 18 group plans to become the undisputed leader of Indian news broadcasters with this powerful bouquet of channels. Jagran's experience and respect will be a feather in our cap."
Ravi Sardana, vice-president of ICICI Securities and advisor to the transaction, says, "The coming together of two of the most powerful media groups means that both will benefit." The name of the channel has not been finalised yet.
For the record, GBN has been in talks with Jagran TV to make the Hindi news channel a part of its stable through a joint venture since January 2006.
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