The 24-hour news channel from the house of Vaarttha that was in the making for long is finally nearing completion. Set for an end-July 2004 launch, the channel will have a complete Telugu programming. Even as the channel receives its final touches, the organisation is looking at entering other regional news sectors across the country.
With barely two months to go before its launch, the Vaarttha headquarters is abuzz with activity. “We are near completion, but a few decisions are yet to be taken,” said Gireesh Sanghi, Chairman and MD, Vaarttha. One of biggest decisions yet to be taken is whether the channel will be free-to-air or a paid one.
Another decision is the naming of the channel. “We want a name and logo that offers the highest recall value,” added Sanghi. Even as the organisation is on the look out for fresh ideas, it hasn’t ruled out extending the ‘Vaarttha’ name to the electronic medium.
However, while these loose ends are being tied up, other areas have been set on a firm ground. Depending on the success of the Telugu venture, the organisation is expected to extend its presence to a number of other regional news sectors including Kannada, Tamil and Oriya.
With the news daily already operating 300-plus offices across the country, the news channel has an established news chain to fall back on. “Vaarttha has an in-place infrastructure which will be of great assistance to the new venture,” said Sanghi.
With a number of new news channels battling for mindshare, what would be Vaarttha’s USP? Sanghi responds, “We have proved ourselves to be the most respected newspaper in the Telugu market. We are looking forward to this support to be carried over to the channel.”
Once the free-to-air or paid issue is settled, the channel will go on a marketing blitzkrieg utilising its existent marketing network. According to Sanghi, the channel has the advantage of bundling. “With our print, internet and now television offerings, we will market ourselves as a one-stop marketing solutions shop for anyone entering the state,” he shared.