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Aaj Tak preparing for a makeover

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NEW DELHI: After having caught the fancy of the middle class and set new trends in news watching, arguably countries subse tez channel, Aaj Tak, is now preparing for a makeover. Reason: target newer set of viewers and become classy.

According to sources in the Aroon Purie-controlled TV Today Network, the parent organisation for Aaj Tak and English sibling Headlines Today, preparations are underway to give the Hindi news channel a new look, which would include programming and on-air changes.Though a date hasn't been fixed yet for the changes to be effected, but the sources indicated it's likely to happen some time in September.

What are the changes that are being contemplated in Aaj Tak? Details are being closely guarded, but news bytes filtering out of the organisation indicate that news anchors, presenters, reporters and programming line-up would all undergo changes to present a more upmarket look and feel.

Without taking names, the sources hinted that Aaj Tak's brand positioning (unlike that of, say, NDTV India) has been that it is a product for the masses and which has yielded tremendous dividend. But it is now increasingly felt that the time has come to even tap the `class', apart from the mass.

Keeping this basic theory in mind, the changes are being planned, which may also include getting some hipper-looking news anchors on to the channel and that may herald the arrival of new faces and also return of some more old guards.

Meanwhile, Aaj Tak is also exploring furthering its ties with Sony Entertainment TV's flagship channel, Sony, for marketing alliances, which would include cross-promotions on some popular programmes on both the channels.

For example, Aaj Tak's health programme, Subse Fit, has featured some artistes from Sony's popular soap Saakshi and, in return, Aaj Tak's pop-ups have appeared during the airing of Saakshi.

Now, Aaj Tak is looking at ways how such initiatives could be taken forward that may entail weaving in references to Subse Fit on Aaj Tak in the storyline of other Sony serials like Jassi or Aayushman.

It's action time at Aaj Tak because only the subse fit would corner viewership and advertising revenue, even though NDTV India has been constantly snapping at Aaj Tak's heels.

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