Television

Asianet News Network acquires 51% stake in Kannada Prabha

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BANGALORE: Asianet News Network (ANN) has acquired a 51 per cent stake in Kannada Prabha, the New Indian Express Group's leading Kannada daily newspaper, as it seeks to spread its footprint across television, Internet and print.

The financial details of the deal could not be ascertained.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar's regional news empire now consists of Asianet News in Malayalam, Suvarna News in Kannada and a major part of Kannada Prabha.

Kannada Prabha was founded by Ramnath Goenka on 4 November 1967. With a tagline 'The Most Powerful Kannada Newspaper', the Bangalore-headquartered Kannada Prabha is spread across the state with other editions in Mangalore, Shimoga, Hubli, Belgaum, Hyderabad and Goa.

Says ANN chairman Rajeev Chandrasekhar, "This alliance will leverage the vast synergy between two of Kannada's most respected and credible news brands, namely Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News 24?7. This partnership and strategic alliance will be transformational for the reader and the viewer, giving the best in editorial, news reporting and features acceptable to millions of readers and viewers. ANN's journalism credo 'Nera Ditta Nirantara' (Straightforward, Bold and Relentless) will now be visible in Kannada Prabha as well."

Senior journalist Vishweshwar Bhat has been appointed as the Editor-in-Chief and will spearhead the integration and growth of all the platforms.

Suvarna News is investing in a new Bangalore studio and news gathering infrastructure, which is scheduled to be commissioned in the next few months.

Chandrasekhar had earlier acquired Asianet, which owned and operated a clutch of popular Malayalam channels. He went on to launch Asianet Suvarna, a Kannada general entertainment channel, and Suvarna News 24x7. In late 2008, he sold the entertainment channels to Star India while retaining the news outfits.

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