Maharashtra has begun the process of transitioning into a full-fledged
Marathi news channel as part of its strategy to go local. The news
bulletin and the other prime-time shows have already made the shift
to Marathi with the exception of the Entertainment bulletin which
will eventually go Marathi.
Maharashtra head Srinivas Reddy said that 90 per cent of the content
is in Marathi while only 10 per cent is in Hindi. "We haven't
decided any date on when we want to become a Marathi channel completely.
But that is the way we are moving."
had made its expansion into the Hindi language with the launch of
TV9 Mumbai in 2009 focussed on local news. However, TV9 Mumbai was
last year rebranded as TV9 Maharashtra to widen the viewership base.
But language turned out to be a major impediment since Marathi is
the most widely spoken language in Maharashtra.
is the language of the common people in Maharashtra. We thus decided
to become a Marathi news channel," Reddy said, talking about
the shift to Marathi language.
Maharashtra, which will have to compete with established players
like Zee 24 Taas, ABP Majha (earlier Star Majha) IBN Lokmat and
ETV Marathi, is betting on local content to drive viewership.
you look at other Marathi news channels, they are covering more
of other news rather than news of local relevance. We will be focusing
only on local news. In fact, TV9 Maharashtra will have 90 per cent
of local content and maybe 10 per cent of other content like sports,"
Maharashtra has around 100 part-time and full-time journalists across
Maharashtra and around 15 anchors. While most of the team is in
place, the channel will hire new employees for its output division.
Marathi news broadcaster also has offices in different cities of
Maharashtra including Nagpur, Nashik and Pune.
will there be a sizeable retrenchment because of this makeover exercise?
We are not sacking anybody. In fact, a lot of our employees
were already Marathi speaking and we are also training existing
employees in our output division in addition to hiring new people
for output division.
Indiantelevision.com has been made to understand that the broadcaster
has already told certain employees to look out for a new job as
part of its resturcutring excercise.
addition to TV9 Maharashtra, ABCL runs four regional news channels
including TV9 Karnataka (Kannada), TV9 Gujarat (Gujarati), Indiavision
(Malayalam), Kolkata TV (Bengali), besides an English news channel
News9. It also has a niche channel in Telugu devoted to Entertainment
and News called TV1.