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ITV Media (India News) Acquires Engish News Channel NewsX

NewsXEnglish language tv news channel, NewsX, has been acquired by Information TV, which is owned by Kartikeya Sharma’s ITV Group, reports afaqs. The monetary details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Originally launched by ex-Star India CEO, Peter Mukerjea and led by his wife, Indrani Mukerjea, News X was sold to Indi Media Network, a Joint Venture between Nai Dunia owner Vinay Chhajlani and former BusinessWorld editor, Jehangir Pocha, in 2009. According to the report, Pocha will continue as the Editor-in-chief.

Chhajlani and Pocha have issued a joint-statement confirming the acquisition, and said that being part of the ITV Group will help NewsX “transcend the limitations of being a stand-alone channel” and give new thrust to the channel’s editorial and commercial development. Earlier this year, there were reports that the Zee Network was interested in acquiring a 51% stake in the news channel, and to leverage it in order to make a foray in the English language news channel segment.

Here’s a brief timeline of the News X saga:

March 2008 : Peter Mukerjea founded INX Media launching news channel News X, entertainment channel 9X and music channel 9XM.
January 2009: News X is acquired by Indi Media Network, a Joint Venture between Nai Dunia owner Vinay Chhajlani and former BusinessWorld editor, Jehangir Pocha.
March 2010: The new owners announce that the channel will be revamped and rebranded as IMN News in September-October 2010. But this re-branding never takes place.
–  July 2012: NewsX is sold to ITV Media.

ITV Media or Information TV, broadcasts Hindi news channel, India News, in addition to six regional news channels focused on north and central India. The company’s print business, GMI (Good Morning Media India) publishes, Hindi daily Aaj Samaj from Delhi, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Ambala, Panchkula, and Mohali. Sharma, ITV’s managing director also looks after the company’s other businesses under the Piccadilly group including hotels, agro industries, and waste management businesses. Note that Sharma’s father, Vinod Sharma is a politician – the sitting MLA from Ambala (Haryana) and a member of the Indian National Congress.

While ITV would now have presence in the English news segment, we’re not sure how the company plans to take News X forward in a space that is dominated by established players like Network18, the Times Group and NDTV.

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Politics, Business & Media

With this take-over, News X becomes part of the list of news channels affiliated or linked to Industrialists and Politicians or their relatives. The other notable ones are (some of them, on the basis of this India Today report):

– Network18: Reliance Industries has invested in a trust formed by Network18’s promoters who have acquired a significant stake in the Network18 Group.
– India Today Group: Birla’s have picked up 27.5% stake.
– Jaya TV Network: owned by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa
– Kaliagnar TV: affiliation with DMK
– Sun TV Group: owned by Kalanidhi Maran
– Makkal TV: affiliated with PMK
– Vasanth TV: owned by Congress MLA H Vasantha Kumar
– Mega TV: KV Thangkabalu – PCC
– Captain TV: Vijayakanth
– Janashri: Karnataka Tourism minister, Janardhana Reddy & Health minister Sriramulu Reddy
– Kasturi TV: Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and his wife
– Asianet: Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has a stake
– Sakshi TV, NTV, TV5: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has stakes
– Maha TV:  TDP MLA YS Choudhary has a stake
– Saam Marathi: Sharad Pawar’s family runs Sakaal which runs this channel
– IBN Lokmat: Maharashtra Education Minister Rajendra Darda and his brother Vijay Darda, a Rajya Sabha member, control Marathi daily Lokmat.  The group owns news channel IBNLokmat with the TV18 group.
– Odisha TV : owned by Jay Panda, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP
– Kanak TV:  Soumaya Ranjan Patnaik, former Congress MP
– News Live/ Rang: Owned by Assam Health Minister’s wife Rinki Bhuyan
– Indiavision: Muslim League Secretary M.K. Muneer,
– Jaihind Tv: Indian National Congress’ Kerala wing
– WE TV: CPI (M)

In case we’ve missed any, or there are any inaccuracies, please let us know.

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