Nikhil Wagle has been appointed as Editor for the new 24-hour Marathi news and current affairs channel, a 50:50 joint venture between GBN and Lokmat Group. The channel, to be called IBN Lokmat channel, is expected to roll out some time in the near future. Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN and IBN7, would be the Executive Editor of the new channel.
Confirming the development, Vijay Darda, Chairman, Lokmat Group, said, "It is a huge market and things are still at the planning stage."
He added, “The joint-venture will combine GBN’s standards with Lokmat’s reach and understanding of the Marathi mind. Lokmat already owns the Marathi space due to its intimate connectivity with the Marathi heartland over the last three decades, and this relationship will further expand and strengthen this base.”
IBN Lokmat channel will be tailored on the lines of CNN-IBN and IBN7.
“The launch of the Marathi channel is in continuation to the growth of GBN, in line with the company’s strategy of becoming an integrated media platform both nationally and regionally,” said Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, TV18 Group.
Sameer Manchanda, Joint Managing Director, GBN, said, “We see the regional language space powering the next phase of growth in Indian television. Our partnership with Lokmat will be driven by these opportunities and also be in line with our quest to transform into a full play media house.”
Manchanda further said that the new channel would target the ‘highly aware and conscious Marathi speaking’ audience in Western India making sure that their style of delivery suits their pace of lives. “The spotlight will always be on the spirit of ‘whatever it takes’. We are proud to be associated with a partner like Lokmat, who stand out by not only capturing the people’s mood but also being at the forefront of shaping their opinion.”
TV18 Group company GBN and Lokmat Group to launch Marathi news channel