Rajat Sharma to launch premium English news channel

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | June 01, 2011
Independent News Service (INS) led by Rajat Sharma is all set to introduce the channel in October. The broadcast company got the permission from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to launch its second channel in 2009.

Rajat Sharma's broadcast company, Independent News Service (INS), will launch its second 24-hour premium English news channel by October. INS had got the permission from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to launch its second channel in 2009; however, due to the economic slowdown which affected the media industry, plans to launch the channel were stalled.

Speaking to afaqs!, Rajat Sharma, chairperson, Independent News Service (INS) and editor-in-chief, India TV, says, "We have reached the final stage of completing all the required paper work in terms of getting investors on board and should be ready in two-three weeks to make a formal announcement."

Earlier, in 2009, it was announced that the new channel will be called India TV Wiz; however, Sharma says that nothing has been finalised so far and the name of the channel can well be something else.

As part of the process, Sharma has already finalised the senior management (including managing editor, chief of bureau, and others) for the operation of the channel. The team is supposed to join the news channel in two months.

Meanwhile, Sharma's plans to launch a Hindi business news channel may take some more time as he is still evaluating various options. He says, "I had initially thought of starting two more channels, of which, one I will launch soon -- that is, the English news channel. For the second one, I had thought of launching a Hindi business new channel, but now I am looking at other options, as well."

Calling himself a cautious entrepreneur, Sharma states that he has learnt a lot from his past experience, and that every decision regarding the launch of a new channel is being taken after a lot of research and evaluation.

For Sharma, expansion is the next step in the future. Keeping this in mind, he has consolidated the infrastructure required to launch channels in the next 10 years by establishing India TV Broadcast Center at Noida.

He explains, "My priority was to get the infrastructure in place first, so we set up our new base. The centre has been built to support as many as five more channels, as we will be expanding."

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