The Telugu news channel genre will receive yet another new entrant, this time from the stable of the Telugu daily, Andhra Jyothi. It plans to launch ABN Andhra Jyothi on September 28, the day of Vijay Dashmi. ABN stands for Amoda Broadcasting Network, the company that will bring out the news channel.
"It's too early to reveal the programme details right now. However, it will certainly be different from other news channels," says V Radha Krishna, managing director and editor, ABN Andhra Jyothi.
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While the mainstay of the channel will be hardcore news, entertainment will be nominal. ABN Andhra Jyothi will compete with ETV2, TV5, TV9, NTV, Gemini News, HMTV, I News, Mahaa TV, Maa TV (a general entertainment channel that airs news at regular intervals), and the newly launched Sakshi TV and Zee 24 Gantalu. While Sakshi TV is a part of the Jagati Publications Group promoted by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, which launched the Telugu daily Sakshi last year, Zee 24 Gantalu belongs to the Zee Network.
According to Krishna, Rs 300 crore has been earmarked as initial capital investment for the news channel.
Krishna has chosen the day September 28, the day of Vijay Dashmi, as it has sentimental value for the group. "Even Andhra Jyothi was launched on Vijay Dashmi back in 2002," he says.
For the record, Andhra Jyothi is the second largest circulating Telugu newspaper in Andhra Pradesh, as per ABC (July-December, 2008). Its average circulation is 5.03 lakh copies, about 6.6 lakh copies behind the leader, Eenadu.