According to Kumar, the company has already completed top-level
appointments. Jai Hind will be headed by former Doordarshan deputy
director general K Kunhikrishnan in the capacity of CEO. Senior
Mathrubhumi journalist Sunnykutty Abraham has been roped
in as COO of the channel. Abraham has been given the additional
responsibility of the news division head as well.
Former Indiavision producer Shiny Jacob Benjamin will head the
programming division. BBNL is expecting to wind up the remaining
appointments by mid-March.
The political climate in Kerala has definitely contributed to the
idea, according to sources. "Congress' archrival CPI-M has
Kairali TV supporting its ideologies. The party is facing rough
weather presently, and what makes matters worse is the fact that
the state assembly elections are just two months away. To fight
the situation, Congress party leaders initiated a TV channel idea,
which the party president Sonia Gandhi approved recently,"
says a source.
Speaking to indiantelevision.com, Kumar however chose to
underplay the involvement of the Congress party in the channel's
affairs. "The Congress party won't interfere in the running
of the channel. Jai Hindi will keep its own identity. The promoters
have given us a free hand and I am encouraged by this fact,"
The company has set up its office in capital city Thiruvananthapuram.
"Work is in progress for the studios. To start with, we will
have our own news studio, while the programming studio will run
in hired premises," informs Kumar.
Speaking about the positioning of Jai Hind, Kumar said a final
decision hadn't been taken yet. However, he hinted that the 24-hour
channel would cover all sub-genres of entertainment including soaps
and movies. On the programming front, Jai Hindi will telecast in-house
as well as outsourced programmes. "News & current affairs
and a few entertainment projects will be produced in-house. The
channel has already received proposals from independent producers
for various projects," he says.
Incidentally, Kumar is the executive, who anchored the CPI-M backed
Kairali TV in its infancy. He played a key role in establishing
the channel by introducing various off-beat strategies such as non-soap
programming. Kumar floated Symphony Entertainment in 2005, with
majority funding from the state government of Kerala.