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Dainik Jagran to launch news channel by year-end

08-April-2004
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Dainik Jagran to launch news channel by year-end

Sitting pretty with a 1.5-crore-plus readership (as per IRS), Dainik Jagran is now planning to foray into the television news and current affairs segment. But unlike some players who have rushed into the arena to capitalise on the election fever, Dainik Jagran would want to launch its channel only by the last quarter of the year after putting in place robust systems.

The television channel would be headquartered in Noida and will have a fully automated studio as well as nerve centres across the northern belt. Explaining the rationale behind the move, Sanjay Gupta, CEO, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, told exchange4media.com that the group would leverage the strengths of its leadership in print to capture big numbers in the largely untapped C&S homes in the northern states.

Siddhartha Gupta, Director, Dainik Jagran, added that it was a logical step for the group to expand its media bouquet after having been in the business of content management for 62 years.

The group is tight-lipped on the nature of television content that is likely to roll out but the CEO made a mention that due attention would be paid to the “sensitivity of news”.

In addition, the focus of content would be on localisation of news, “to meet the needs of true India, the India that also lives beyond Delhi and Mumbai”.

The group has engaged IMRB to carry out a survey to assess the television news content needs in the Hindi belt. The survey would be complete by the month-end, following which the group would begin the branding exercise. Multiple agencies would be called in thereafter to pitch for the branding task.

Reflecting on the marketing challenges, Shailesh Gupta, Director, Advertising, Dainik Jagran, said the regional focus would indeed interest several players to advertise on the channel. “It is possible to generate big advertising interest with innovative initiatives,” he said.

“White goods and auto sectors would be the key advertisers but one could also look at the FMCG sector. The question is how,” he said.

News content is expected to be the key driver of the channel. “Some 10,000 stories land in our server every day. We could pick a 100 stories with a visual sense for the television channel,” said Sanjay Gupta.

The group plans to build the channel’s presence through various cross-promotional ventures. “We see a synergy in the print and television plans but the channel will enter the arena in its own right,” adds Siddhartha Gupta.

Dainik Jagran is also setting up a training outfit to create capable people who will handle news. “They will be trained on how to handle breaking news, how to write good copies, handling camera, editing and the like,” he said.

But that mean a breakaway from the pretty-faces that anchor television news. “A pretty face will not be a repulsion,” Sanjay Gupta quipped.

exchange4media.com caught up with L V Krishnan, CEO, TAM India, to get his perspective on the entry of new players in the television news and current affairs segment. According to Krishnan, the entry of new players would actually expand the market as the overall time-spent by the viewers would increase.

He sees in localisation of television news a growth opportunity but adds that the national news cannot be bypassed. “Perhaps, national news could be given a local flavour,” he said.

On whether print players have a natural advantage in the television news segment, Krishnan commented that while such players may score well on the content front, the real challenge would be in making viewership grow and in getting the distribution in place.

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