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Reporter's Diary: Awestruck in Mumbai

18-December-2010
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Reporter's Diary: Awestruck in Mumbai

“May you live in interesting times…”
This Chinese saying is a thinly veiled curse, but fits perfectly when I sit to recap the week gone by. I have barely reached the finishing line of my first month as a broadcast media reporter for exchange4media, and there has not been a dull moment to mull over.

The week began with Sony unveiling their prime property ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’, which premiered on Monday with Madhuri Dixit taking centrestage after ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ gave the channel a good lead and putting the channel back among the top three.

Another interesting collaboration was the coming together of Star India and Reliance Broadcasting Network Ltd for the first ‘Big Star Entertainment Awards’, themed as a tribute to the decades of entertainers across Bollywood, television, music and sports. It may be argued that the audiences have a bowl of awards of pick from, but in the cluster of reality and other standard formats, this is a format that no one is complaining about.

Sanjay Gupta and Tarun Katial looked visibly excited about the new partnership and addressed the media with a set agenda leaving some questions unanswered for later.

The English movies channel genre has also seen the joining of another competitor in the bunch. Times Television Network has announced the launch of Movies Now on December 19, 2010. With other players also planning to enter the genre, channel shares may switch hands.

These are what made news. But apart from the ratings and press conferences, some events highlighted my week. One of them was my passive interaction with Sameer Nair at the launch of Imagine’s new and high priced reality show, ‘Zor Ka Jhatka’. Nair is one of those names that do not need the trailing designation tag. Also, I say ‘passive interaction’, because some encounters leave the inherent question-asking journalist in you awestruck, and how. From the moment he addressed the media, he was on the mark and raring to go. Amidst all scepticism, he is key to bringing SRK (or Mr Khan as he called him) back on board to host yet another television show, this time under a different channel banner. Under such leadership, a channel can brave any storm. SRK charmed his way through the media once again and I caught myself thinking, there is a reason half our country still loves this man.

I have saved the best for the last though. As if the week was not action-packed enough, December 16, 2010 marked a special experience as I attended my first impact Person of the Year (iPOY) awards ceremony. All my apprehension faded when Noor, the Mother Hen of our team and my Deputy Editor, took me around the room and painstakingly introduced me to all ‘my men’. It may sound overrated and a tad celebrity struck, but it was beyond merely ‘networking’ to get an opportunity to interact with the newsmakers in the business. People, who till yesterday were names in a list, now have a personality and dialogue associated to them in my mind. iPOY set the right mood, where real men and women put their best foot forward, applauding and rubbing shoulders with the media, sharing mines of information, all under one umbrella. As I hassled many for their visiting cards, I remember asking Ashish Basin if he would like my card in return and he replied with an interested “Yes, thank you”. They are veterans and no less than celebrities in the ‘behind the scenes’ world of Broadcasting.

 

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