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Sakshi TV to go on air from February 24
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YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has launched Sakshi TV, the first high definition Telugu news channel in South Asia. The news channel will go on air from February 24, 2009 and will offer competition to about 17 Telugu news channels.

The 24 hours news and current affairs channel, was launched by Anand Sharma, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Ministry, at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday. The channel is part of Jagati Publications.

N. D. Tiwari, Governor, Andhra Pradesh; Suresh Reddy, the Speaker; Allu Aravind, leader, Praja Rajyam; D. Srinivas, chief, PCC; Bandaru Dattatreya, leader, BJP; Asaduddin Owaisi, leader, MIM and actor Nagarjuna were present at the function.

However, there were no leaders from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rastra Samiti, the CPI(M) and the CPI, who all have levied allegations against the Sakshi newspaper and Sakshi TV channel.

At the launch party, the audience was witness to special laser show by Tracy Jeffery of Australia. Dance and song sequence by Terrance Lewis drew wide applause. While, a fashion show by models from Mumbai was another attraction.

Sakshi TV is targeted at males, SEC ABC, in the age group of 25-44 years. The channel will adopt a strategy to carry hard news, both national and local. It will compete with news channels such as ETV2, Gemini News, HMTV, HY TV, I News, Local TV, Mahaa TV, Maa News, NTV, Sitara, TV5, TV9, Zee 24 Gantalu, among several other news channels in the Telugu space.

Rani Reddy has been appointed as business head for Sakshi TV, post the departure of Geeta from the channel as CEO. Reddy was earlier branch head of O&M in Hyderabad.

Jaganmohan Reddy, chairman, Sakshi TV, said that the new channel will be unbiased and impartial in its presentation. Jagan says, "Sakshi TV has correspondents, who have worked with all major publications and TV channels across the length and breadth of the country. I am sure that my team will be as unbiased as Sakshi newspaper is today."

Speaking to Televisionpoint.com about the allegations made against Jagati Pubications, Jagan criticised N. Chandrababu Naidu, president, TDP; Ramoji Rao, chairman, Eenadu and Vemuri Radhakrishna, managing director, Andhra Jyothy for a mudslinging campaign against him as they failed to destabilise his father.

Jaganmohan said that the trio were conspiring against his family fearing that they would not have a future after the General Elections. He, while accepting funds from various sources including Satyam Computers, ridiculed their allegations against his newspaper, and said that the funds used to establish Sakshi brand was raised in a transparent and legal manner.

"I sold my shares in Sandur Power and invested the money in Sakshi, as the media is a lucrative business. What is wrong in it? Is there any law that forbids a Chief Minister's son from doing businesses," Jagan raised a question.

"Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy are carrying out a false propaganda to demoralise my team. Without Sakshi newspaper, the people of Andhra would not have known about this mischievous campaign by them." Jagan added.

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