NewsX rebranding to be over by next quarter

Written by Soma Das | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 30 2009, 07:06am hrs
The news channel NewsX founded by former Star India CEO, Peter Mukerjea and bought over by Nai Dunia owner Vijay Chajlani and Jahangir Pocha within a year of its launch has embarked on a rebranding exercise, scheduled to get its final shape in thenext quarter this year.

You could call it rebranding or relaunch or launch of a new news channel. We consciously decided against rebrandingimmediately after the management changed hands because the country had elections around the corner, a major event for the news channels. However, the preparation for the rehaul process had started. We hired McCann Ericsson for the exercise, said Gautam Mukerjea, marketing director, NewsX. Also the adverse economic conditions didnt help matters, what should have taken three months is taking six months, he added. Although the budget for the initiative is yet to be finalised, it would be more than Rs15 crore.

What acted as an advantage at that the time when we started the repositioning exercise was that the news channel was less than a year old. And the reason why we arent investing in a ad-campaign and marketing now is because the exercise would be a waste after the channel gets its new name and new feel , Mukerjea added.

The news channelplans touse emerging media platforms like online presence including social networking sites and mobile platform heavily to extend reach and gain viewer feed back.

Despite the elections and the T20s during this summer, ad spends did not pick up as much as was expected, he said. On being asked about the differentiator of rechristened news channels in a cluttered market, he said that giving hard-core news at a time when most news channels compromise content for eyeballs sake would itself be a fundamental differentiator.

The channel is following a three-phased strategy to spruce up distribution. While it has completed first phase its reach to the top six metros, it is currently working towards extending its reach to state capitals. The channel has also started trimming people strength to function in a more cost efficient manner, said an industry source.