Headlines Today's Charu Thakur, CNBC's Naomi Dutta switch to Times business channel

MUMBAI: The New Year has ushered in with a bunch of new hires for the Times of India Group, which is planning to launch its new business channel sometime in mid-2005. The beginning of this year will see two key appointments for the yet-to-be-launched channel in ex-Headlines Today senior producer Charu Thakur and ex-CNBC anchor-producer Naomi Dutta.   

These two are among a number of key hires for the "core team" that Times hopes to have in place within the next two months. As per information available with, Thakur is expected to join around mid-January as executive producer (programming), whereas Dutta will begin work as senior producer (programming) from next week.

At CNBC, Dutta was the producer for the channel's half-hour magazine show on the business of the entertainment industry called Trendmill. Thakur, on the other hand, was a part of the core team that set up TV Today Group's English news channel Headlines Today and will hence bring a lot of critical experience on the table for the launch of the new business channel from the Times Group. Prior to that, she was with NDTV.

With Thakur's appointment, the two key positions of executive producer have now been filled. It was in October last that CNBC TV 18 executive producer Preeti Prasad switched to the Times.

Apart from this, another CNBC hand, Mayurika Biswas has also been roped in as a part of the new team. Biswas, who has already come aboard, was earlier producer for CNBC's Uncovered. And it's not just the news channels that are bearing the brunt of the yet-to-be-launched business channel. Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India brand manager Rajit Desai has just been taken on as chief marketing manager.

Confirming the development to, vice president news and editor television division Arnab Goswami says, "We are looking to get the best talent that is available in the news channel space and the people who are joining us know that they will gain immense professional growth and experience here."

Just for the record, apart from CNBC's Prasad, 2004 also saw the Times rope in NDTV promo head Proshanto Das as head of on-air promos and Star News' Delhi based senior producer Naveen Kapoor as chief of news operations, apart from a couple of others from Sahara and Star News.

Meanwhile, aside from making new appointments, the Times Group is also gearing up for the launch of the channel by speeding up the infrastructure work in Delhi and Mumbai.

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