Zee News goes in for major overhaul

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms' best bet against new entrants in the Hindi news arena, Zee News, is working towards adopting major restructuring strategies to improve the channel's programme quality.

Satish Menon, who recently took the reins of Zee News, confirmed that a major revamp was under way. "We are working toward getting good people and improving the existing functioning of the channel and it is a continous process. We'll be working towards improving the content from all aspects," Menon says.

Zee has allied with American company Novocom to completely overhaul the graphics and design to make it more attractive. Menon was, however, tightlipped about the additional investment involved in sprucing up the channel. "I wouldn't want to talk in terms of investments. It is too early to talk about these," he said.

Zee is at present facing a stiff test from Aaj Tak, the 24-hour news channel launched on 31 December 2000 by media group India Today. Earlier, being the only major Hindi news channel, Zee News had a vice like grip on the TRP charts.

As per some recent news reports, a month after Aaj Tak's launch, the channel's viewer growth shot up nearly five times. The reports were based on a survey conducted by AC Nielsen. At the same time, the viewership of Zee and Star remained unchanged, the reports said.

With all the major players in the television industry about to turn fully pay channels, the viewership stakes can only get higher. Everyone will have to fight that much harder just to stand still.

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