Sahara Manoranjan in makeover mode, to be rechristened

NEW DELHI: After Aaj Tak and Zee TV, it's the turn of Sahara Manoranjan to undergo a makeover, including a name change. A decision on the name change of the news channels has not yet been taken however.

Soon, Sahara Manoranjan, the Hindi general entertainment channel from the Sahara group, would carry the Sahara One brand name with a new focus on the channels distribution. A distribution game plan had taken Sahara Samay UP (the Uttar Pradesh-specific news channel) ahead of Aaj Tak for approximately the past five weeks.

This is being done as part of an over all corporate restructuring that was effected recently whereby all the functioning of Saharas media and entertainment businesses have been put under the management of a 50:50 joint venture company in which Percept Finserve is also a partner with Sahara. Percept is a company that has been active in the field of event and celebrity management and manages people like Indian cricket team captain Saurav Ganguly.

The content of Sahara Manoranjan too, would undergo a change. The revamp is likely to include, according to sources in Sahara, they would be phasing out a high-profile serial Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam. Karishma- Miracles of Destiny is also set to go off the air soon.

Launched not so long back, Raveena Tandon starrer Sahib, Bibi... was touted as the next mega show on Sahara, after Bollywood siren Sridevi television debutMalini Iyer.

The new management of all the media and entertainment properties of Sahara group, which lays claim to being India's largest business house with an asset base of $ 10.98 billion, will also look at the distribution aspect of the TV channels within its fold as it is being increasingly felt that lack of aggressiveness in that area has cost some of the properties to lag behind.

Though the news channels have not been brought under the joint venture company for the present, Sahara sources said that if a decision on carrying the Sahara One brand name is made for the news channels too, then the functioning of those channels too would be brought under the new corporate entity, headed by Percept IMC MD Shailendra Singh.

Meanwhile, the new JV has plans to organise a 10-day Bollywood film festival in the UK and the US from 31 August as a prelude to spreading the network globally.

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