agencyfaqs! News Bureau
It's curtains for Zee's much-touted publishing venture TV World. A senior executive of Zee Telefilms informed agencyfaqs! that the January issue of TV World, Zee Publishing's monthly television guide, was the last one to hit the stands.
TV World had a run of 13 issues since the time it was launched in December 1999. Joint venture company Zee Publishing, in which veteran marketing professional Deepak Shourie had a 2.7 per cent share, with the balance held by Zee, had launched the magazine amid great hype. "It was supposed to be a ready reckoner of the television industry, with a complete list of TV channels and the programmes on air. But it never reflected what was happening in the industry and simply failed to take off," said an industry veteran, who was briefly associated with the magazine's editorial team, but who eventually moved on to head a different function within the group.
That apart, insiders point out that while the magazine's editorial mix never really had a clear focus, the marketing efforts were equally lackadaisical. "In a country like ours, there would be a few people only who would be willing to actually pay for something that is available for free," pointed out a marketing executive who recently quit the company. "One gets TV listings free in every newspaper. So selling the product - that too at Rs 20 - was a difficult proposition in the first place. In short, we failed to give buyers a good reason why. Plus, we kept on fiddling with the price and the format, which is a sure recipe for disaster. While TV World started off in the A-4 size, it was eventually reduced to A-5," he said.
Incidentally, another of Zee's much-hyped recent launches, Sawal Dus Crore Ka (SDCK), a game show on Zee TV, seems to have run into serious problems. While the show was withdrawn after the first few disastrous episodes with the promise of a relaunch, Zee sources point out that SDCK may not see the light of the day after all. "It was supposed to have been relaunched by February this year. The reshoot with the new host hasn't even started. I would assume, that the project has been shelved for ever," a Mumbai-based Zee executive said.
In the meanwhile, Zee has revamped and relaunched its film magazine Zee Premier in February. This magazine missed a couple of issues between December 2000 and January 2001. "Premier has also gone though some very bad times. The editorial part changed hands several times, we changed prices - from Rs 50 to Rs 75, and back to Rs 50. We changed premises from Andheri to Lower Parel, back to Andheri - everything was in turmoil last year. Hopefully things will settle down now," said the Zee official.
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