Aaj Tak ad makes it official on new news channel

NEW DELHI: It's almost official now. Just stopping short of issuing a press release, Aaj Tak, the news channel from the India Today Group (ITG) stable, has made it known, through an advertisement, that it is launching another news channel, in all probability in English.

The advertisement appeared almost in tandem with today's clearance by the government of GE Mauritius Equity Investment's plan to pick up a 7.5 per cent stake in the TV Today Network. The approval was one of 30 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth Rs 2120 million that got the all-clear.

GE Capital, through its Mauritius outfit, is paying Rs 105 million for a stake in TV Today Network, United News of India has reported. Commerce and industry minister Murasoli Maran cleared the proposals on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

The huge advertisement, appearing in today's edition of Times of India, calls for candidates for various posts (in the proposed channel) who would like to be "a part of the team that will make history again."

The `subse tej' news channel is also living up to its brash image, it seems. The advertisement starts off with fact No. 1 that Aaj Tak launched a 24-hour Hindi news channel, followed by Fact No. 2 that it became the number one news channel in less than a year (the rivals dispute this anyhow) and Fact No. 3 that Aaj Tak is launching "another news channel."

Aaj Tak is looking for personnel to be part of the new channel in the editorial, production and technical divisions.

In what can be regarded as a precursor to the return of good times in the job market for journalists - reeling under severe recession - Aaj Tak has advertised for almost 14 posts in the editorial division. This need not necessarily mean that only 14 persons will be taken in as the company is looking at more than several special & principal correspondents and correspondents all over the country.

Efforts made by to contact senior execs of Aaj Tak came to a naught as only the company head, G Krishnan, interacts with the media and he is reportedly out of town.

In recent times, Krishnan, who along with ITG chief editor and chief executive Aroon Purie, is credited with the success of Aaj Tak, has been travelling lot within and outside the country which is an indicator that the new news channel is almost round the corner the talk is of a 26 January Republic Day launch, similar to what was done for Aaj Tak.

The Aaj Tak sister channel will not lack for company on the new news channel front. Star, NDTV, Videocon and the Sahara group are all in various stages of getting their channels on air.

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