Kohli starts work Monday as Star News president

Star India finally made it official today. The Rupert Murdoch-promoted company announced the appointment of Ravina Raj Kohli as president - Star News Channel. Kohli starts work Monday and will be spearheading the new Star News operation scheduled to delink from Prannoy Roy's New Delhi Television on 31 March 2002.

Kohli is expected to be in Los Angeles within the next two weeks to get a first hand look at how Murdoch's Fox News operation is run. It is the Fox News formula on which the new Star News will be modelled - meaning lots more focus on entertainment, sports and business as an adjunct to politics.

Kohli will report directly to Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea who, while announcing the appointment, said: "We are very pleased to have Ravina join us at this exciting juncture. Ravina's experience in the creative business of television will bring to the news category in India a fresh boost and new energy. I am confident that with her leadership, Star News will achieve new heights as the pace-setter in news broadcasting." "I am ready for the challenge ahead, and look forward to working with Asia's most dynamic company, building on the popularity and success of Star News - and breaking new ground," an official release quoted Kohli as saying.

One thing that seems clear is that Star News will not be operating out of the Star India head office in the western Mumbai suburb of Andheri. A likely possibility as far as office premises go is the Worli area of central Mumbai. A whole new complex where the news operations will be housed is just one part of the start-up costs of the news channel which will have a completely new look - new ID, logos and everything else. Star has reportedly earmarked Rs 2500 million for just the first year of operations. That is huge money and is likely to shake up all the players in the business.


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