Times' spiritual channel Ananda on hold?

MUMBAI: After having stitched a deal with Reuters for its news channel venture, which would give it access to the global information company’s financial and technical muscle power, the Times Group is having second thoughts about launching a spiritual channel.


Bennett Coleman & Company (publishers and owners of The Times of India and Times TV ventures) had earlier announced that after the launch of its lifestyle channel Zoom, it would go ahead with the launch of a spiritual channel to be followed by a business channel; in that order to be precise. It had also fixed a name for the spiritual channel as Ananda (not to be confused with the soon-to-launch Bengali langauge news channel Star Ananda from the ABP-Star combine).



Though the company has now moved into third gear with its news channel, a company source reveals a few people hired for the spiritual channel have been quietly given pink slips, while some others have been absorbed within the organization elsewhere.

All the programmes which were shot and readied for the spiritual channel, have been passed on to the Times Music division to be converted into VCDs. Sources confirmed that there was a delay in Ananda's launch plans because of the renewed concentration on Zoom and the news channel.

Meanwhile, as far as the restructuring goes, though Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd president Arun Arora has reportedly been given a two-year extension, he is not directly involved in the television business anymore. This, say sources, is evident from the fact that Times Television Network (different from the news channel venture which is under The Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd) COO Apoorva Purohit now reports directly to the Times’ MD Vineet Jain.

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