Television

Channel Eight and Aakash Aath kiss and makeup

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KOLKATA: The clock has turned back for Channel Eight as it agreed to join hands once again with Bengali general entertainment channel (GEC) Aakash Aath.

Last month, Indiantelevision.com had reported about the on-going tussle between the production company and the GEC over the latter's unkept promise to hand over a  51 per cent stake to the former.  It compelled Channel Eight to disassociate itself from the GEC.

However, within a month things are looking better as the two have found a mediator. “Someone has agreed to mediate between the two warring parties and has taken the responsibility of honouring the deal,” reveal highly placed media sources.

As per the new agreement, Channel Eight’s programs like Janani, Police Filez, Ghhente Gha, Sahityer Shera Shamoy and Gaan Dariya among others which had gone off air from Aakash Aath are back on from 14 July.

In October 2013, Channel Eight had relaunched the Kolkata headquartered Electro steel Group’s GEC Akash Bangla as Aakash Aath and till June 2014, had invested around Rs 15 crore in the process as per sources.

 “No stock transfer has happened till date. But it is confirmed that it will be done sooner than later,” said a close associate of Channel Eight director Ashok Surana.

Surana  view is that “share transfer is not important. What is important is healthy running of the channel and taking it to number three position amongst all Bangla GEC channels.”

 This, quiet contrary to his statement last month wherein he had told indiantelevision.com that “Aakash management made certain commitments to Channel Eight which they have miserably failed to keep, due to which we have moved out from the channel, 12 June onwards.”

Meanwhile, insiders claim that in the last couple of days, Surana has got 40 per cent of shares transferred in his name and remaining 11 per cent will be duly done in the next 10 days.

Apart from this, the channel plans to focus on  produced programmes instead of simple news bulletins in the coming days.

Layoffs could be in the offing at the GEC, according to sources. Surana says that with the change in genre from news to infotainment, tirmming down is bound to happen.

GEC director Avik Dutta confirmed that Channel Eight would produce programmes for the channel.

However, the employees aren’t very happy with the collaboration behind closed doors and want to address the issue before chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

 “There is no salary and work culture here at present,” employees grumbled to indiantelevision.com.

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