Television

Star News to shift base to Delhi

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MUMBAI: Star News is gearing up its Delhi operations with a view to sharpen its competitiveness that would herald a major shift in its functioning.

In the first phase of this game plan, which has been okayed by the management board in principle recently, the Delhi set-up will be beefed up in a way so that it could also function as the headquarters of the Hindi news channel.      

According to Star News sources, the first phase could take up to six months time for completion.

Indiantelevision.com has learnt from a source that this gradual shifting of base to Delhi has got necessitated due to various reasons, including sourcing and nurturing of manpower for the Hindi news channel that primarily comes from North India.

The board of Media Content & Communications Services Pvt. Ltd (MCCS), which manages Star News and its Bengali sibling Star Ananda, has in principle given the green signal for this move taking into account various factors. MCCS is also setting up a committee that would look into the costing and feasibility of re-locating to Delhi.

However, the ad sales and marketing ops of Star News, which has been snapping at the heels of news market leader Aaj Tak from time to time, will stay put in Mumbai. Keeping in tune with this, it is expected that MCCS chief executive Uday Shankar will flit between Delhi and Mumbai as hes also involved in content creation on a daily basis.

MCCS is a 26:74 joint venture between the Rupert Murdoch-owned Star Group and the Kolkata-based Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP TV).

When Star News began afresh, after having severed content relationship with NDTV in 2003, it based its headquarters in Mumbai. Ravina Raj Kohli, the then president of the news channel, was heading a vision of creating an entity that would take on the likes of NDTV and Aaj Tak from Mumbai, which

is known more as the hub of Indias financial and entertainment activities.

Kohli had then pointed out that Star News, based in Mumbai with Delhi positioned as a super bureau, was modeled on Fox News in the US that is headquartered in New York, while Washington, the base for all political news and developments, served as a `super bureau.

At present, most news channels having national presence in India are based in and around Delhi from where most political and policy-level news emanate.

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