Television

Star Ananda readies for 11 May launch

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MUMBAI: The name has been fixed, and so has the launch date (at least targeted). The Bengali news channel from the ABP Group-Rupert Murdoch stable, Star Ananda, has zeroed in on 11 May as its date for debut.

This has been confirmed to indiantelevision.com by a sources close to the developments.

Uplinking clearance for the channel came through on Tuesday (26 April) so barring unforeseen technical problems, Star Ananda should start beaming from 11 May. As was reported by indiantelevision.com earlier this month, the 24-hour Bengali news channel will be co-branded and hence it carries the Star brand name.

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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