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