News Express to spend Rs 100 cr by March end

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Television news channel News Express today said it will spend Rs 100 crore this financial year on operational expenses. "We have a budget of Rs 100 crore for operational expenses during this financial year. The company has already invested approximately Rs 40 crore in infrastructure and Rs 35 crore in distribution. Expansion budget will be allocated separately," News Express Channel Head Mukesh Kumar said.

News Express Channel is a venture of Rs 1,500-crore Sai Prasad Media group, which has interest in food, property, finance, infrastructure, energy and film production businesses, among others. Kumar added that the company expects to break even in the next two to three years. "However, we expect the brand value of the channel to build within the next three months," he said. The company today announced launch of its high definition channel. In addition, News Express has applied for a licence for regional channel in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh states. Kumar said that internal discussions are on in the company to apply for a license for one more regional channel. "We expect to get clearance for these two Hindi regional channels in four months. After this we will work on budget to fund our expansion plan," he said.

Kumar said the company has tied up with 100 regional cable operators and most of the multi-system operators. The company has set-up 8 bureaus across the country. As part of its expansion, News Express will hire around 50 journalist during this calendar year. "We are looking for experienced journalist and are not hiring any journalist with less than three years of experience. This year we will go for approximately 50 mid-level hiring," Kumar said.

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