ITV to see NewsX get scale with substance

Kartikeya Sharma NewsxIt’s been in existence for just a little over four years, but has been making news even before it was launched. Indeed the X factor in NewsX has been the exits – if not those of key staffers running the the channel, then the promoters owning it. In the case of promoters, not once, but twice over.

The latest is that INX News Pvt Ltd which owns and operates the English news channel NewsX has been acquired by Kartikeya Sharma-led ITV Group. The takeover was officially announced in a press communique which issued late last night and announced to the staff in the afternoon.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kartikeya Sharma said, “This is a logical market expansion for us and enables us to enter the English news domain while strengthening our presence in the broadcast and digital media space. NewsX has emerged as a quality news provider with great growth potential and making it part of our group’s network of seven regional news channels will bolster news gathering abilities and create multiple synergies all around.”

iTV Network (Information TV Pvt Ltd) is the parent electronic media company which broadcasts 24/7 Hindi news channel, India News. ITV Media is part of the Piccadilly Group also owns runs a print division GMI (Good Morning Media India) that publishes daily Hindi Newspaper, Aaj Samaaj as well as a weekly Hindi magazine, India News. ITV Media also operates six regional news channels in northern and central India.

NewsX, which was earlier owned by INX News, was launched with much fanfare in March 2008. Later in January 2009, it was bought over by Indi Media Network, a partnership between then Nai Dunia pr0moter and CEO Vinay Chhajlani and Businessworld Editor Jehangir S Pocha.

In a joint statement Messrs Chhajlani and Pocha said, “We are happy to hand over the channel to the ITV Group and acknowledge the contribution of the team that has earned NewsX much recognition. Being part of the ITV Group will help NewsX transcend the limitations of being a standalone channel and give new thrust to the channel’s editorial and commercial development.”

While Mr Chhajlani’s association with the channel ends with this acquisition, Mr Pocha is likely to continue in his editorial position. Speaking to MxM India, Mr Kartikeya Sharma said that there will be no changes in editorial roles at this point of time. He said, “At the moment everything is the way it is… we are not looking at any changes at the moment. We’ve got a good team over here, they do a good job in terms of content and we would like to accentuate it rather than make any changes.”

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