After Swabhumi relaunch, Arjun Infotech plans for Bengali news channel

KOLKATA: It was only last month that Arjun Infotech entered the world of media with the re-launch of Bengali daily, Swabhumi, which was closed down in January by the old management.

The Gujarat-headquartered company now plans to start a Bengali news channel, and has put up 200 hoardings which read, ‘Aasche Swabhumi Channel’. Another 100 hoardings will be put up in towns and districts of the state before the launch.

Earlier, the channel was slated for launch on the eve of Nabobarsha (Bengali New Year) on 14 April but the elections caused delay. “The channel launch date has not been finalised. We will put up another 100 hoardings. Once the channel takes off, there will be a common editorial team,” said Swabhumi deputy chief reporter Ishan Chatterjee.

While it isn’t immediately known whether Arjun Infotech has acquired the license for its Bengali channel, according to insiders, the company plans to run it from a huge studio in Salt Lake Sector V.

When contacted, a city-based media expert said, “The market is too small for a Bengali channel and too many players cannot survive. For outsiders it may be more difficult to stay long. Locals may still struggle it out. People from other markets get attracted to starting a Bengali channel for the wrong reasons. They realise the heat later.”

For the recently acquired Swabhumi, Arjun Infotech already has a team of around 100 employees in place, which includes journalists, cameramen and technical staff.

Launched in mid-February 2011 by Kolkata-based RICE Group, Swabhumi, was originally helmed by Samit Roy till Ankit Jaiswal from Arjun Infotech appeared on the scene.

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