IBN Lokmat, the Marathi news channel from the GBN stable, is expected to launch by March 2008. Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN and IBN7, would be the Executive Editor of the 24-hour Marathi news and current affairs channel. The rest of the editorial is also in place.
Meanwhile, work is fervently on to get the channel’s state-of-the-art studio at Vikhroli ready for the launch.
Nikhil Wagle, Editor, IBN Lokmat, said, “This is the first national Marathi channel and is one of the largest media alliances. We (the Lokmat Group) have a strong network all over Maharashtra and we intend to reach even the remotest village through it.”
He further said that the network created by IBN was unprecedented in regional journalism and included 13 bureaux spread across the state, with 100 stringers. Wagle and his team visited various journalism schools in the state and 2,000 students were interviewed. He said that the channel would contain a mix team of young and the experienced. The editorial staff would also represent the whole of Maharastra and would not be Mumbai centric.
Lokmat is the biggest newspaper chain with multiple editions in Maharashtra. “There would be no frivolous journalism, but serious popular journalism. Our target audience would include age groups,” Wagle added.