NewsX undergoes makeover, gets new name

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Eighteen months after it was bought over by Indi Media from Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, the English news channel NewsX is all set to take on a new identity: it will be known as IMN News from July.

The change in the name of the channel to Independent Media Network News will also mean a change in the name of the company. But the new nomenclature will be known only after one of the three names, proposed by Indi Media, is approved.

Jehangir S Pocha, who had formed a joint venture with NaiDunia promoter and CEO Vinay Chhajlani to take over INX News in January last year, did not rule out more ventures in media after the re-launch of NewsX as IMN News. Pocha, who is a former editor of Businessworld, was categorical that any new venture would be in the non-fiction sphere.

Introducing the new name and logo, he told mediapersons that the entire news channel would undergo a complete change with new programmes and formats. He also stressed that the channel would not ‘personalise news’ – that is, individual presenters or anchors will not be promoted as it is being done by some other channels.   
  Pocha said that the new brand name and look had been developed by Argentina-based broadcast design house Stein Branding and the new sets were being created by James Yates Design in New York.

He said, unlike other news channels, IMN News would have a clear screen and not cluttered with several scrolls running simultaneously. There will be just one half-hour slot on entertainment, he said, reacting to a comment that most news channels thrive on cricket, cinema and crime. He said crime would not be played up as is being done by some channels, particularly in the regional and Hindi sphere.

Answering a question, he said around 15 to 25 new stories would be covered everyday, with just three or four being played up if necessary. He stressed that there would be no ‘noisy shouting’.

He was categorical that the aim would be to present news that is non-tabloid in nature and contemporary. Around 12 to 14 new programmes are being launched simultaneously though he indicated that the popular India Inc business programme would continue.

Talking about the logo, he emphasised that the morning beam and evening beam will have different colours in keeping with the mood of the day. He also said a new website will be launched,

Stressing that the new organisation had cut costs since it took over the channel, he said the number of staff had come down from 450 to around 327, of which 65 per cent were on the edit and journalistic side. Outside the country, the channel has bureaus only in New York and London.

While ruling out any financial investment by any other media group from India or overseas, he said that arrangements for getting news are being worked out with Voice of America and a Pakistani news channel.

He said TBWA is handling the advertising for the channel.

IMN News will continue to be beamed from INSAT 4A, which has a footprint over south and South East Asia and parts of the Arab world.

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