KOLKATA: Channel 10, a 24 hours Bengali News channel and also one of the surviving TV channels from the otherwise redundant Saradha Group stable, plans to introduce a sponsored slot for soft programmes soon. This is to keep the show running for the channel. The move comes after the Non Resident Indian (NRI) businessman and sole financier Samir Chakraborty decided to discontinue with his investment plans to run the channel.
The other channels under Saradha Group are Tara Newz and Tara Muzik. According to sources within the channel, Channel 10 is also looking for new financiers.
“While we have always focused on hard news, we are eventually moving towards soft features, the promotions for which are on. We had to do this to run the channel. We will try to walk alone until we find a financier,” said a senior from the channel on condition of anonymity.
It can be recalled that the Saradha-owned Channel 10 had closed down like the other media ventures including Sakalbela, The Bengal Post, Azad Hind, Prabhat Varta, Seven Sisters Post, Tara Newz and Tara Muzik among others after the Group’s chit fund business went bust in April last year.
It was after this that the Channel 10 employees formed an Employees’ Welfare Association to resolve payment issues. “But this did not help much, since employees were still not paid regularly,” added the source.
The News channel again saw the light of day after the Calcutta High Court permitted Chakraborty to run it. While this came as a huge relief to more than the 268 employees working there, the channel is in turmoil yet again due to shortage of investment.
When asked why the earlier financier washed his hand from the channel, the source said, “Since both the ED (Enforcement Directorate) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) are scrutinising the Saradha scam closely, Chakraborty has decided to discontinue with this venture.”
Sources also hint that Chakraborty had applied for satellite license, before deciding to part ways with the channel.
That apart, Chakraborty was also looking at producing sports and entertainment content related news which could be engaging for the viewers. “But nothing materialised,” recalls an employee.
Last year Tara (Television Aimed at Regional Audiences) Newz also introduced sponsored slot for sports news as a survival strategy.