Saam TV to see programming revamp as new editor joins

MUMBAI: One editor after another is quitting TV9 -- for better growth prospects, is the official version. Umesh Kumawat, who had joined TV9 from ABP News, quit within a month and went back to ABP as a senior editor.

And now, TV9 executive editor Nilesh Khare has finally said goodbye to the channel that was performing almost consistently at No. 3 in the last few weeks in the Marathi news genre in a sweet, positive note to his editorial and production team. On informing him that his staff felt quite demoralised and let-down, he quipped: "They must be sad because I am one of them, unlike the leader sitting in a corner office." 

NDTV's Abhishek Sharma is reportedly stepping into Khare's shoes.

Starting his career at Tarun Bharat newspaper after doing his masters in journalism from the Pune University, Khare worked with Zee group as an anchor and then senior correspondent for around six years and special correspondent at ABP News for over nine years before becoming the managing editor of "Jai Maharashtra News".

Confirming his exit to after a lot of speculation, Khare, who helped TV9 propel from the fourth position to the third slot among Marathi news channels within 45-50 days of joining, said he would be joining Saam TV as the editor from 1 September.  As to whether he would be moving out with a team of trusted lieutenants, he replied in the negative. "Wherever I go, I create a new team from the existing lot -- people with new, different and unique ideas, and not legacy concepts," he said.

At Saam TV, he said, his future news plan was to extensively cater to the information needs of youth, women and the farmer community. Khare, who ran a sustained news campaign at TV9 to get farmers their rightful due from the Maharashtra government, said he was keen to join Saam TV under the leadership of the managing director Abhijeet Pawar, who "has a unique vision for the channel -- he has a new strategy beyond a 24-hour news channel." 

"The Maharashtrian viewers are not fond of sensationalism; they prefer news about people's and state issues, and matters concerning our day-to-day lives," he said matter-of-factly.

Khare did not confirm as to whether he would oversee the digital news at the Saam group. "The digital space is definitely significant and growing -- within two years, I believe, approximately 30 per cent viewership would be cornered by the digital players," Khare opined.

Without divulging details, Khare said he had a lot of programming plans which would help Saam TV grow from its currently fifth position to dizzy heights in a short span time. On being referred to as a master strategist, the hardcore journalist and 'field reporter' for several years was not amused. Offering no comment on the exit of Kumawat in a month, he said that the former had gone back to "our DNA -- ABP News."

Choosing not to comment on the recent controversial issues in the news space and the overall decline in the news viewership, Khare said he was only a part of the editorial board and not a part of the TV9 management. "I am not a believer of numbers -- I primarily believe in quality and credibility of news; numbers are secondary," he signed off.

Also Read:

TV9 Marathi format has changed, says new editor Kumawat

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