ET Now aims to lead change with 'India's Development Debate': Sandeep Gurumurthi, Managing Editor
Gurumurthi, on how 'India's Development Debate', is a step ahead from other debate shows as it’s focused on bringing change and finding solutions to developmental issues
In early September, Times Network decided to change business news channel ET Now’s positioning to a development and economy channel with content revolving around economy, government and policy issues. Now with all the bets on its new show ‘India Development Debate,’ Sandeep Gurumurthi, Managing Editor, ET Now, is focussed on making it the most influential debate show that leads to change.
Change is very much a part of the agenda as the Managing Editor pointed out that in a lot of their debates policymakers have helped find solutions. He shared, “For example, CEO, economists and tax experts along with the Revenue Secretary thrashed out immediate tweaks needed to smoothen the GST transition. In just three weeks we have had Piyush Goyal (Railway Minister), Jayant Sinha (Minister of State for Civil Aviation), Rajiv Kumar (Vice Chairman- Niti ayog), Amitabh Kant (CEO- Niti Ayog), Hasmukh Adhia (Revenue Secretary) participate in the show. So the show is right up there in terms of impact and we are looking at more solution-oriented debates.”
Anchored by Gurumurthi and Supriya Shrinate, this debate covered demonetisation and GDP in their previous episodes. Speaking about it he said, "To start with, this isn't a business show at all. This is a news debate show that focuses on development issues, both economic and social. We have debated issues like hunger, sanitation etc which are actually core to India's development agenda.
During trading hours we have a stellar line up of shows that focus on wealth creation. Aftermarket hours, we have shows on startups, personal finance and a flagship news show called India Now that covers the top stories from the world of politics, policy, business, and markets. So India Development Debate is a unique show, both in terms of format and in terms of the nature of the content."
On the viewership front, the channel is at the second position with 0.4 million impressions for Week 41 (October 7-13). Gurumurthi reinstated the intention, “We are not doing this show to chase TRP's. We have excellent viewership and on most weeks we are the third most watched English News Channel, which is quite phenomenal considering we have so far been positioned as only a business news channel. My aim is that through this show ET NOW is seen as a development channel.”
He shared the show’s differentiating point, “While a lot of general news channels in both English and Hindi have debate shows, there isn't a show on Indian TV that puts development at the forefront. Through this show, we intend to uncover the economics behind the major news. In fact apart from the theme and the editorial filter, what also stands out is the nature of the conversation and the quality of guests.”
‘India Development Debate’ is been heavily marketed across TV (Times Network) print, digital, OOH, cinema, trade portals and some ground partners to effectively reach its audiences in key markets. He offered, “We have used some of our recent big news stories and presented the economics behind it in an interesting format.”
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