MMTV, the television division of Malayala Manorama, is all set to launch its news channel Manorama News. Sources familiar with the situation divulged that the channel was in the process of trials on both technical and editorial details and would fix a launch date as soon as there was “perfection” on these counts. The long search for a channel head has ended with Anil George coming on board as Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Though a local paper had carried a speculative date of July 12, 2006 as the launch date for the new channel, Manorama sources said that a confirmation on the date was pending due to the trials. The launch can be in the second or third week of this month, and there would be more clarity on that count by next week.
TBWA\India has developed the ad campaign for the channel, which would be released a few days prior to the launch of the channel. Sources added, “At present, the channel is completely ready to launch. However, the trials have to be completed perfectly and so a launch date hasn’t been confirmed yet.”
The various departments of the channel are in place. News Director Johny Lukrose would be heading the editorial of the channel. The Malayala Manorama team brings support on other counts like marketing and sales of the channel.
It shouldn’t be long before Manorama News competes on the television space as well. Sources also said that even though things were still on the drawing board, the next that could be expected from MMTV would be a general entertainment channel.
Prior to Manorama News, George has worked with agencies like Maxus and MPG in addition to a stint with the United Breweries Group. At the time of filing the story, Manorama officials refused to offer any comments.