Thiruvananthapuram : “Mathrubhumi,” Kerala’s second most popular Malayalam daily, is getting ready to launch its 24-hour news and current affairs television channel shortly.
Speaking to IANS, M.V. Shreyams Kumar, Mathrubhumi’s director of electronic media, said they are hoping to launch the channel ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections, likely to be held in May 2011.
“The channel’s licences are expected any time now and the recruitment is already on. It will be based in Thiruvananthapuram and the office complex is getting ready,” said Kumar, a legislator in the Kerala assembly of the Socialist Janata Democratic party, which was formed after the break-up with Janata Dal (S).
Mathrubhumi’s entry into the electronic media comes at a time when the state has nine full-fledged television channels, including Doordarshan. Four out of these – Asianet News, India Vision, People (Kairali) and Malayala Manorama – are news channels.
Chennai-based Sun Network’s Surya TV, which is an entertainment channel here, is also all set to launch its news channel.
“We have tied up with NDTV as consultants to set up the channel. This venture has been in our minds for long along with plans for an English daily,” added Kumar, who is the son of media baron, former parliamentarian and head of Socialist Janata Democratic party, M.P. Veerendra Kumar.
The already crowded electronic media space in Kerala is awaiting more new entrants as many other channels are in various stages of launch. These include a channel from another leading media house Kerala Kaumudi and one by Janapriya Communications, promoted by K. Muraleedharan, son of late K. Karunakaran.