Television

Narsingha Broadcasting to launch Bengali News channel

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KOLKATA: Kolkata-based Narsingha Broadcasting, which has re-started publishing of Bengali daily ‘Ekdin’ from 29 June after acquiring the publishing rights from old owners, now aims to foray into the television media business. The company plans to launch a Bengali satellite News channel soon. While the name of the News channel hasn’t yet been revealed, it is likely to include the word ‘Ekdin’.

“We have applied for the uplinking and downlinking licence already. Though it would be a Bengali channel, we have set aside 10 minute slots each for Hindi and English news bulletins, keeping in mind the non-Bengali TV viewers settled in Kolkata and other states,” said Ekdin editor in chief Rhitobrata Bhattacharya to indiantelevision.com.

According to industry sources, the company may take equipments and teleports on lease, at least initially. Narsingha Broadcasting had recently acquired the rights from Siliguri-based Darpan Press to re-start the Bengali daily, which had wound up the broadsheet, leaving close to 120 employees including journalists and technical staff jobless on 15 January, this year.

Founded by veteran journalist Suman Chattopadhyay, who was also the first editor of ‘Ekdin’, the newspaper was sold off to the Chakra Group after Chattopadhyay joined Eyi Shomoy, The Times Group’s Bengali daily. The Chakra Group later sold ‘Ekdin’ to Darpan, which has owned the daily since 1 October, 2013. Without citing any valid reasons to employees, Darpan shut down the publication.

When Darpan Press chief executive officer and director Sandip Choudhary was contacted he confirmed that the rights had been sold to Narsingha Broadcasting which had re-launched the newspaper.

Bhattacharya informed that ‘Ekdin’ would have Kolkata and Durgapur editions and the new management would try to attain a circulation of around one lakh, if not more in the initial months. “We are working to bring out a special supplement on cinema, literary and historical aspects to give something extra to readers apart from hard news,” he revealed.

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