Will re­brand­ing Star News as ABP make a new news chan­nel?


THE MOST in­trigu­ing thing about the part­ing of ways be­tween the Ananda Bazar Pa­trika group ( ABP) and STAR in their joint ven­ture, Me­dia Con­tent and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ser­vices, is the move to re­brand the Hindi chan­nel with the ABP moniker. While Ananda and Ma­jha can live with the re­place­ment of STAR with ABP since the Bangla and Marathi words pro­vide it con­ti­nu­ity, the same is not the case with the Hindi chan­nel. The acro­nym does not have any name recog­ni­tion among Hindi view­ers. Add a generic News af­ter it, and for all the ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign, it is al­most a new launch. If ever there was a case for an­chors hav­ing to pull in or re­tain au­di­ence, it is this one, since they form the only link be­tween the past and the fu­ture.

One way of en­sur­ing con­ti­nu­ity would be to do more of the same. Or even more of it. But how well does that sit with the ed­i­to­rial grav­i­tas that is usu­ally at­tached to ABP and, par­tic­u­larly to Ed­i­tor-in-chief of ABP Group Aveek Sarkar? We may well know whether Sarkar has dif­fer­ent stan­dards for his print of­fer­ings than for what are now pro­nouncedly his tele­vi­sion ones.

What this sev­er­ance of ties also al­lows us to spec­u­late is whether STAR’S exit from the news busi­ness in In­dia has any­thing to do with how the group has been lam­basted in the United King­dom. And is the decision to fo­cus on gen­eral en­ter­tain­ment in In­dia just an au­gury of what News Corp might do across the world with its news busi­ness?

Thakore is co-founder of Jour­nal­ism Men­tor Foun­da­tion for

Ex­cel­lence in Jour­nal­ism

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