The Indian minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani got into on Twitter with a local CNN affiliate anchor, after the network appeared to indicate that they had some sort of interview exclusive with the HRD minister.
In a now-deleted tweet, CNN News 18, which just last week changed its name from CNN-IBN, said:
But Irani took issue with that, because she had not spoken with local CNN anchor Bhupendra Chaubey, as the above tweet appeared to indicate.
But Chaubey responded that his program wasn’t quoting her out of context, but was instead re-airing a portion of her interview with another CNN News 18 journalist.
CNN-IBN, which is CNN’s affiliate in India, has rebranded itself as CNN News 18. Earlier, CNN had previously announced that it was discontinuing its relationship with the channel, but in December 2015, changed its mind and renewed their agreement.
Speaking about the rebranding and revamped content, Avinash Kaul, CEO, IBN News Network, said, “The refreshed identity of CNN-News18 aims to bring the value of immersive journalism to its viewers. Inspired by our new tagline – ‘On Your Side’, CNN News18 will strive to make news more objective keeping the viewers at the centre of its content strategy. We will significantly ramp-up our digital presence to ensure that viewers are seamlessly able to interact and engage with our content.”
According to FirstPost, CNN News 18 will air programs from CNN International, such as Amanpour. and Fareed Zakaria GPS.
In addition, News 18 viewers will get a daily dose of political satire from Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijaykar. Their popular show The Week That Wasn’t will now air daily at 21:45.
Kaul added, “CNN News18 will not just offer the latest national news, but also an Indian perspective to international developments. Our partnership with CNN will enable us to bring to you the best of CNN reporters, anchors and their best known shows. It will allow us to align our editorial strengths and upgrade workflows through exchange of best practices, technology and training to offer our viewers the best experience of news consumption in India.”
In June, it was reported that CNN was ending its licensing agreement with India’s TV18, which was known as CNN-IBN. Their contract was set to expire at the beginning of 2016.
But now, reports THR, the two have reached a new agreement and have renewed their relationship.
CNN chief commercial officer Rani Raad told THR, “We are bound by contractual confidentiality and are not in a position to share [the] details of our agreement, but let’s be clear, it is not a short-term-agreement.”
“The agreement remains the same two-fold, brand licensing and content sharing partnership,” said Raad, adding: “In this second term, CNN and TV18 will forge a much closer working relationship to enable CNN-IBN’s globally-savvy viewers to stay ahead. There is renewed interest and commitment from both sides.”
Turner Broadcasting International will not be renewing its licensing agreement with Indian channel, CNN-IBN, Livemint reports. The agreement permits CNN-IBN to use CNN’s global resources in their reporting.
An Indian spokesperson declined to commment to Livemint, saying only, “It is business as usual with our affiliate in India for now.”
While Turner is dropping CNN-IBN, it seems they are looking at another Indian TV channel, Subhash Chandra’s Zee Group.
Meanwhile, a CNN team visited the Zee News facilities in Noida recently, sparking speculation that the two news broadcasting companies are in talks. “A conversation is on. But Zee is a very strong brand in its own right. It has to see what the American partner can bring to the table,” said the second person close to the development.
It is not clear if Zee and CNN are looking only at a branding tie-up or are exploring a deeper partnership involving equity.
Currently, Zee operates Hindi news channels in India.