Hindi news channel STAR News will soon be offering an English and a business news channel.
In an exclusive interview with agencyfaqs!, Uday Shankar, officiating CEO, editor and director, STAR News, says, " At present, we are looking forward to launching an English and a business news channel We do have plans for launching regional news channels at a later date."
Uday Shankar recently took over as the overall head of Star News following Ravina Raj Kohli's exit from the channel.
Shankar added, "STAR News was the pioneer in English news broadcasting on Indian television. So, an English news channel is the top priority for us."
"Beginning with a Hindi news channel was a strategy to reach out to the masses. Now that we been successful, we want to cater to the next set of audience," Shankar said.
Launching a English and business news channel is also a strategic move as these two genres means greater revenues for any news broadcaster.
Despite having made early inroads into the television news genre, STAR News is still fighting at the no.3 position. Shankar blamed that poor distribution was responsible for this. The reason is a bit hard to believe as STAR News is a part of the STAR India bouquet, which has a strong distribution network across the country.
Shankar also claimed that the channel was already ahead of its competitors in Western India, which included Maharashtra, Gujarat and Mumbai. The channel now aims to consolidate its position in the northern part of the country.
Although Shankar declined to make any further comments on the regional channel, sources confirmed that the channel was planning to launch a Bengali and a Marathi news channel in the first phase.
The Bengali channel will certainly be a priority for the STAR News, as the Ananda Bazar Patrika group - which is the main promoter of STAR News - has a strong hold in this region. A Marathi channel, in comparison, will be a strategic move as STAR News already has the necessary infrastructure in Mumbai.
STAR News is also planning to launch a couple of new shows by next month. Shankar said, "We have always been innovative with our programming and positioned ourselves as a public interest channel. Now, we will launch programmes that caters to the younger generation."
© 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : September 23, 2004