Tuesday, January 23, 2007

STAR right, media not so bright

Just when one thought STAR TV could do nothing right, they pull off a winner. The timing of the announcement of the resignations of Peter Mukerjea and Sameer Nair caught every journo on the wrong foot, and served STAR’s objective perfectly.
Led by the rumour mill, the media complacently waited for an announcement to be made on Wednesday, when Paul Aiello, CEO designate STAR TV and acting CEO, STAR India was expected (by the same, efficient rumour mill) to come back to Mumbai (in fact, he's probably at STAR House, Mumbai, as you read this).
The press announcement is made late evening on Sunday, when no senior journalist is in office, and clearances for an article by a junior hack are tough to get.
Most newspapers (of those who were, indeed, able to carry it at all) carried vanilla pieces of one of the most significant developments in Indian media in the last few years. If the announcement had been made at a civilized time, say, 5 o’clock on a Monday, all the pieces would have carried a few quotes from STAR top brass and reactions from industry peers.
More importantly, given that Mukerjea and Nair had decided to leave, the announcement forced media to focus on the first episode of the SRK starring KBC rather than on shenanigans in the boardroom – and surely SRK KBC is distraction enough to divert attention.
Perhaps the first analytical piece of the impact of the resignations on STAR, on the television firmament, on Indian media, will be seen in a magazine and not a newspaper – written by Vanita Kohli-Khandekar in the next issue of BusinessWorld? I’m going to wait for that one.
And, perhaps, you might see something of an analysis here, as well. By the weekend.

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