The leader in the news category has seen patches when upcoming news channels claimed its resources, especially on the personnel front. But things are changing for Aaj Tak. Not only is the channel adding more to its people resources but there are changes lined up in its content as well, which will make their mark in September.
Says QW Naqvi, News Director, Aaj Tak, “There is always a need to re-look at the way you disseminate news.” He further adds, “Aaj Tak came in the scenario when there was no model for a Hindi news channel. In that sense, we have shaped this genre and the style in which Hindi news is broadcast. We have always worked on initiatives that put us above others but now we have designed programmes that will strengthen brand Aaj Tak in the coming months.”
Sharing more on the reasons behind the properties that are planned on the channel, he says, “We are working on showcasing our news bulletin in a different way. The reason is again the need to reinvent. Apart from this, we will be launching branded programmes.”
The main aim of these programmes is to promote brand Aaj Tak. The property-title would lay emphasis on the usage of ‘Aaj Tak’. Naqvi explains that currently there are no such properties on Aaj Tak and that for a news channel, especially in an environment where there is a substantial number of players, it is necessary to establish properties like these.
Another area, where Naqvi believes that the Hindi news genre itself needs work is the business segment, “There really isn’t very user-friendly Hindi business news programming. We are looking at changing this and in accordance, we will be launching some business programming.”
While the channel is planning such initiatives, there is substantial aid coming its way from the current workforce that is witnessing additions. Interestingly, most who have come back to the channel are old timers. Top in the list is Deepak Chaurasia, who rejoins as Political Editor in early August. The others include JP Deewan, Rahul Chaudhari, Prasoon Vajpayee and Kartike Sharma. Sources inform that the channel is as well in talks with various other professionals, currently with competing channels to soon join Aaj Tak.
And, what about the position left vacated by Milind Khandekar after he departed for STAR News, quitting responsibilities of the western region? “We have a very capable and competitive head in Shishir Joshi, who is in any case, looking after the Mumbai area. He will now be given the additional responsibility of this region,” replies Naqvi.
He re-emphasises the point that Aaj Tak has always tried to present programming that is differentiated. Says he, “I would call Aaj Tak a religion and when people leave it, they miss it. That’s why we are seeing our people coming back.”
While Naqvi refrained from shedding more light on the people who are coming back, industry sources inform that soon there will be many more additions in the Aaj Tak team at various levels and job functions.