MCCS' Bengali channel christened Star Ananda

MUMBAI: As the clock ticks for the launch of the Bengali news channel from the ABP Group-Rupert Murdoch stable, a name has been zeroed on. The new channel will be called Star ananda.

This has been confirmed to by a senior executive from the ABP Group, which is a majority partner in the joint venture between the two.

As was reported by earlier this month, the 24-hour Bengali news channel will be co-branded and hence it carries the Star brand name. The channel is likely to go on air in early May.

Media Content & Communications Services India Pvt. Ltd (MCCS), a 74:26 per cent joint venture between the Aveek Sarkar-controlled ABP Group and Murdoch-promoted Star Group, manages the Star News channel.

Suman Chattopadhyay will be the executive editor for the proposed free-to-air Bengali channel.

BBC's design arm BBC Broadcast Design, which was instrumental in providing a new look for Star News in February, will also be responsible for the graphics and on-air look of the Bengali channel.

On the programming front, the proposed channel will have a blend of programming that is aimed at attracting Bengali speaking audiences nationally. However, due focus on local (West Bengal-specific) news would also be given as MCCS would like to capitialise on the ABP Group's strong presence in eastern India.

The Kolkata-based company publishes The Telegraph in English and the widely circulated Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika, both of whom have the ambition to be national dailies.

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