Jagran TV, yet another addition to the existing Hindi news channels, is looking out for a different style of programming. “It’s a commercial venture but we are not into a ‘me-too’ race,” says Sanjay Gupta, CEO, Dainik Jagran.
The channel’s launch is slotted for mid-February and the test-launch would be in January first week. “Our studios are practically ready and we have ordered the equipment so everything should be up and moving by January first week. We will also have the test launch around that time if all the government provisions are ready,” he says.
The group believes that they may be a late entrant but is certainly a powerful one. “We realise that we have competition with all those who are already established. I also realise the fact that it might take us three to four years to reach the top and if we push it really hard, which I am sure my team will, then it will be possible in two years time. However, at every moment we will be crossing the hurdles,” says Gupta. Asked on the reason for getting late, he says, “It is because of a few family circumstances that the decision got delayed.”
So when did the planning actually start? Gupta says, “We thought about it in January this year. Family discussions and board meetings happened in January and we got a clearance from the board in March. The concrete plan was there in April. We formulated the team in April and the core people joined as late as May-June.”
The group has its centres ready in North India. They will be eyeing South India six months after the launch. “The bureau has also been identified and we have already got some prominent journalists working for us,” he adds.
On the content, Gupta says, “It is a little too early to share that vision. In fact we are coming up with absolutely new content, which is the reason why it is taking time. We are trying to be very different which is very hard but yes we are trying to have a different thought process.”
For the group, the fact that a well-established Hindi publication is starting a news channel will certainly be a bonus. “Yes, certainly that’s what is going to be the USP of the channel. The fact, the largest Hindi publication that is well known across the Hindi-speaking belt is starting a TV channel will certainly add more credibility and give leverage. In fact it gives us the strength to deliver far more authentic and deeper content than our competitors,” he says.