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BBC World News makes India the hub of its South Asia operations

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BBC World News makes India the hub of its South Asia operations

BBC World News has announced key changes in its operations in South Asia with a series of appointments, making India the first regional marketing centre for the division outside the UK. It has also unveiled its future plans with the channel now looking at focusing more on mobile and Internet as new platforms for distribution.

With immediate effect, all South Asian Marketing, Communications and Audience Insight (MC&A) activity would be managed from Mumbai. This includes, besides India, BBC World Service’s extensive activities across the region in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Vaishali Sharma has been promoted as Head of Marcomms, BBC Global News, South Asia. Sharma has over 15 years’ experience in marketing, advertising and communications. She had joined BBC World as Head of Marcomms, India in 2006 and since then she has launched several award winning campaigns, including the first-ever localised brand campaign for the channel entitled – ‘What affects the world, affects you’.

Dezma De Melo, who was previously Head of Audience Insight, BBC World, has been promoted to Head of Audience Insight, BBC Global News, South Asia. De Melo joined BBC World in 2001 and has been responsible for devising and implementing research strategies of the channel in India. Among other important research projects, De Melo has been in-charge of creating the landmark Global Indian Survey, and has been working on the multi-country Usage & Attitudes Study.

De Melo and Sharma would work across consumer and trade activities and would, for the first time, provide in-region support for World Service Business Development teams.

Commenting on the developments, Sanjay Nazerali, Controller Marketing, Communications & Audiences, BBC Global News, said, “Apart from making great strides on a socio-economic and political level, India currently has one on the most dynamic media landscapes in the world. Our decision to make India the first regional centre for the Global News Division is in sync with our goals to be an important part of this landscape.”

Meanwhile, BBC World News has also acquired a new look – going from a dark red and black to a lighter shade of light red and white. Speaking on the new look, Vaishali Sharma, said, “The new look represents what the viewers have liked about BBC, that is, it is very fresh, clear and less stuffy. Today, the media being crowded and competitive, the changing consumption pattern have become important for a consistent brand identity.”

Anne Barnard, Managing Director, BBC World Ltd, and Nik Gowing, Presenter BBC World News, were also present at the press meet. They shared their key achievements of last year, and the news channel’s plans for the year ahead. The channel now positions itself as a tri-media news service, delivering international news and information across multiple platforms like television, online and mobile.

Barnard said, “BBC World has generated a global weekly TV audience of 78 million, an increase of 2 million since the previous year. The channel also saw a 20 per cent growth in advertising sales revenues and a double digit overall revenue growth. Moreover, BBC’s website attracts 29 million users a month, with 50 per cent visiting the news pages, 1 million visitors among them are Indians, the largest access to the news site.”

Commenting on the channel’s future plans, Barnard said, “We will be focusing more on live news reporting, in-depth coverage providing an opportunity to develop more details, debates, more news content across television channels, video-on-demand and podcasts with a broader news agenda. Our aim is to continue to grow our audience through live news, distribute growth both online and television.”

BBC also has six mobile phone platforms in India – including BPL, Spice, Vodafone and MTNL. The channel is also looking at delivering news clips in mobile phones.

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