As Headlines Today, the English news channel of the India Today Group, is reborn as India Today Television, the company looks to draw on ethos of legacy mother brand to enhance credibility, offer seamless delivery of news across different media, devices and platforms.
For the India Today Group (ITG), the mother brand India Today - present in Print, web and app – comes full circle with the relaunch of Headlines Today as ‘India Today Television’, an offering that will be the missing link in its aim of seamless delivery of news across different media, devices and platforms.
Aroon Purie, Editor-in-Chief & Chairman, The India Today Group, holds forth his vision for the company, and says Headlines Today relaunched as India Today TV will mirror the ethos of the flagship brand.
What is the objective behind the rebranding exercise across India Today Group and extending the India Today brand name to Headlines Today? What are your reasons for the exercise at this point of time?
The world we live in has changed and is constantly changing. News is no longer the sole prerogative of prime time news or the morning paper. People are now consuming news all the time. They are moving seamlessly between devices and mediums to get information as it happens. India Today Group has always been platform agnostic and experimented with every medium that is available to tell a story. India Today as a brand has kept up with the times by upping its frequency to match pace with its readers, be it going weekly or online or creating buzzing social media properties for its loyalists. To complete the virtuous circle, what was needed was a television channel. Not yet another television channel but something which mirrored the ethos of the flagship brand we launched 40 years ago. Something that broke the rules. English television channels are in a rut of louder and louder debates and more and more sensational news. They needed the ethos of credible journalism. The ethos that India Today has championed for 40 years. So, everything aligned and you now have India Today - one seamless holistic news experience totally in line with India Tomorrow!
In your view, will this propel the new India Today TV channel into the league of Aaj Tak?
There is no reason why it shouldn’t. Aaj Tak is the hallmark of trust and an undisputed leadership of 14 years in television news. India Today has been a leader in its field for four decades and is driven by the same set of values. I believe the new channel will bring to news television meaningful journalism.
The India Today Group has been an early digital adopter and evangelist. How does digital affect the sanity of news media?
Digital has added pace, and saturated the breaking news demand of a select viewer set. This New Age Consumer has evolved, and therefore the news television needs reinvention. It is critical to digitally integrate and to interact more actively with the audience of today. It is important to respect the viewer's intelligence and to appreciate the fact that he has a choice. Being early adopters of the digital age, we understand that the power needs to shift to the consumer from the producer...and the synergized team has now put this learning to use in making news television truly relevant to the digitally savvy audience. You will hopefully witness this information and engagement symphony in our new product.
What is the toughest aspect of running the business today?
The audience is changing the way it consumes information and companies that don’t learn to innovate with speed end up being memories of the past. Running the business is easy if we develop a culture to continuously evolve, and to lead and be ahead of the curve, the ability to discard set mindsets and to espouse powerful reasons to remain relevant.
The success of the India Today Group lies in its credibility and also its pioneering spirit. The important part of the business is to be aware of the next step and the next leap, and to know the difference.
What is your vision for the India Today Group? Where do you see it, say, 10 years from now?
To be the biggest agent of positive change in the lives of people, to be the knowledge source that is used by the widest possible audience. With India Today across its media assets, we should be the preferred platform where India meets India, India questions India, India debates with India and India shapes India. An India Today that is always creating India Tomorrow.