The announcement has finally been made. Anandabazar Patrika, which is parting ways with the STAR Group, will from now on use its own brand name across the news television channels.
Therefore, while STAR News, the Hindi news channel, will be called ABP News, STAR Ananda (Bengali news channel) and STAR Majha (Marathi news channel) will now be called ABP Ananda and ABP Majha, respectively.
The three 24-hour news channels are owned by Media Content and Communications (MCCS) - a joint venture between the Anandabazar Patrika Group and STAR India.
STAR India and ABP, the principle shareholders, have agreed to discontinue the STAR brand affiliation with MCCS. Going forward, STAR wishes to focus on building its brand on its core business, general entertainment.
Ashok Venkatramani, CEO, MCCS, tells afaqs!, "Basically, STAR and ABP have decided to discontinue the brand agreement where STAR had lent the brand name to MCCS. However, right now, STAR continues to be a shareholder in MCCS."
Meanwhile, ABP says in an official statement that its core business is news and it wishes to "promote and establish" its own brands in the broadcast news space through MCCS.
With this, the eight-year affiliation with the STAR brand has come to an end.
For the record, STAR News was launched in March 2004, a year after MCCS was formed. This was followed by STAR Ananda in June, 2005 and STAR Majha in June, 2007.
Incidentally, the STAR-ABP fight has been going on for quite some time, over editorial and strategic issues. It first came into light when the latter launched Sananda, a Bengali GEC in July 2011, in direct competition again STAR Jalsha.