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ZMCL’s English news channel will be technology driven: Subhash Chandra

MUMBAI: Zee Media Corporation Ltd’s
(ZMCL) proposed English news channel
will be positioned as a technology-
driven news channel, Essel Group
chairman Subhash Chandra has said.
“We are about to launch an English
news channel. We were discussing the
whole technological engine we are
going to use. I understood what
technology my colleagues wanted to
introduce in the news space,” Chandra
said while giving a valedictory speech
at Exchange4Media conclave here.
“I said why we don’t have a vision
that we are not going to be a news
organisation but we are going to be a
technology company incidentally
giving news as a product. That is the
positioning we have decided last week
for our English news channel,” he
As reported earlier, ZMCL is planning
to launch an English news channel
with an Indian point of view in the
next fiscal. The company is in talks
with CNN to launch an English-
language global news channel. The
company had recently hired Rohit
Gandhi as editor-in-chief of English
news broadcast and related content to
drive the new channel.
According to Chandra, social media
platforms like Twitter have made the
task of a news organisation easier as
it gives insight into the kind of news
that the consumers are demanding.
“Because a news piece is given in 140
letters on the social media, it spreads
and starts trending, it gives me an
indication that this is the news I must
go deep into. This is the news people
want to watch and want to know more
details. Today, the technology has
enabled us to give the news in many
more ways and many different
packages,” he stated.
“News which I would put on my DNA
newspaper might be almost 5,000
words in a large analytical format,
but the same news I will break into
pieces for TV, for online, mobile and
so on so forth,” he added.
Chandra’s Essel Group is moving into
factual entertainment or cognitive
entertainment, a space hitherto left
untouched by Indian broadcasters.
“Strategically, we are certainly
moving from Asia towards cognitive
entertainment in this country. There
is nobody in Asia who is having content
creation involving this space,” he
“In terms of other technology and
distribution, there is so much to do,
but I feel that this is, for the media
and entertainment world, 2.0 (second
generation) in the happening, with
the digital world, the content being
created and the mindset being
changed,” he added.
He also said that start-ups are
neither a bubble nor a complete game
changer; however, they will help in
expanding the market.
Giving his own example, he said that
when he launched Zee TV 23 years
ago, the film industry feared that it
would spell doom for them, but it not
only laid the ground for establishment
of a TV broadcast industry but also
helped in the growth of the film
“I remember that when I started
(satellite) television in this country,
the film industry felt we would kill
the film and theatre industry, but the
reverse happened. We promoted films,
we partnered with the movie industry,
and both grew. Same way the
technological start-up companies will
continue,” he said.
He also said that linear television
would survive notwithstanding the
technological innovations.
“People say that linear television as
it exists today will be dead 10 years
from now. At Zee, we do take
technology seriously. We are ahead at
least in Asia in terms of adopting
technology. But I feel this (linear TV)
will survive along with new media. It
will give more opportunities to
marketers and expand the market as a
whole,” he noted.

ZMCL’s English news channel will be technology driven: Subhash Chandra

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