After NDTV and STAR News, which show a marked Mumbai-specific thrust through in-depth reports and special programmes, ZEE News is attempting to beef up its programming in this area with the launch of Mumbai Fast, a Hindi news capsule on August 15 at 8.30 pm.
The capsule, which is produced in collaboration with Mid Day Multimedia Ltd, will be of 10-minute duration in total, distributed over three slots - 8.30 pm, 10.30 pm and 7.30 am. As Laxmi Goel, director, newsgroup, ZEE Telefilms Ltd, explains, "As a national news channel, we, no doubt, have a countrywide focus. However, Mumbai is a happening city and we want to cover it."
For Mid Day, this is the second step in the "strategic plan" drawn up by the company to foray into the television business. According to Tariq Ansari, managing director, Mid Day Multimedia Ltd, the company recently kicked off a film and TV project titled Black Friday based on the serial blasts in Mumbai a decade ago. "Mumbai Fast is the second step in our endeavour to get a foothold in the television business," he says. "We understand Mumbai, its life, pace and the news emanating from the city, as well as how to communicate. ZEE believes that we can deliver news in a particular manner, which is the tabloid or Mid Day way. And I think it would reflect in the capsule."
Mumbai Fast will focus on human interest, lifestyle, civic and society stories. "The emphasis will be on day-to-day developments and news as it happens," states Ravi Kant Mittal, associate editor, ZEE News, Mumbai. "The 8.30 pm and 10.30 pm slots will carry fresh news while the 7.30 am slot may be a repeat," he says.
According to Mittal, Mumbai Fast will give a fillip to its Metro News bulletin telecast at 8.30 p.m. "The news-watching habit among Mumbaikars is very strong, " he says. "The city scores high on ratings as far as news goes. If you add Maharashtra, it is even bigger. With Mid Day on board and our own abilities thrown in, I think the synergy is just right," he adds.
After foraying into radio last year, television will be Mid Day's latest entry into a new medium. The group shows a presence in virtually every media space, spanning print, outdoor, radio, Internet, below-the-line and now, television. The company, however, was in the news in the recent past for issuing a conditional notice to the I&B Ministry to surrender its FM broadcasting licence in Mumbai with effect from June 29, 2004.
With no resolution in sight yet to rationalise the licence fee structure - which stands at a whopping Rs 11.25 crore for the Mumbai circle and growing at an annual compounded rate of 15 per cent despite feelers from the industry that the process should be reversed - one hopes that Mid Day's radio venture don't fall victim to tenuous Government policy. © 2003 agencyfaqs!