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Thai TV Pool keeps news channel plans after losing partner

Thai TV Pool, publisher of entertainment magazine TV Pool and the operator of two digital TV channels, insists that its business plan for Thai TV, its news channel, remains unchanged despite the departure of its news-content partner Post TV.

"We would say that we have suffered from the end of this two-month partnership after re-ceiving a notice e-mailed from Post TV on May 31, saying that the company would stop producing and supplying news programmes immediately," Pantipa Sakulchai, president of Thai TV Pool, said yesterday.

She insisted that her company had no wish to take any legal action against this termination because there was no legal agreement between the two.

However, on February 6, Thai TV Pool held a press conference to announce Post TV, a subsidiary of Post Publishing, as its exclusive news-content provider. Under this partnership, Post TV was to produce general news programmes mainly involving economic, business, political, social, and current-affairs subjects exclusively for THV channel under a time- and profit-sharing arrangement.

Post TV, which failed to secure a digital-TV licence last year, was to produce up to six hours a day of programming for THV, or about 25 per cent of total airtime.

Replacement in place

But after the deal collapsed, Pantipa, who is renowned as "Big Sister Tim of TV Pool" in the entertainment industry, and her firm set up a news team replacing the Post TV unit. Thai TV's news team is now led by experienced news editor Preecha Vasakulpanit, who serves as managing editor, and famous TV host Suphap Kleekachai as chief adviser.

Before joining this station, Preecha was news editor at TNN 24.

This news team will produce up to seven hours a day of programming. The company hopes that by being its own content producer it can meet the basic requirements of a digital news channel under the regulations of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Currently the news department staff numbers about 30. The company needs more employees to enable adequate news programming. Some news reporters should be voluntarily rotated from the entertainment news desk.

Having its news production in-house, news and information programmes will account for 61.59 per cent of total daily time slots.

Pantipa acknowledged that production costs for news programming would be higher after the departure of its content partner but she still insisted that the revenue target remained unchanged at Bt2 billion by end of this year. The plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand by 2019 also remains unchanged.

According to a previous interview, Thai TV Pool had budgeted more than Bt1.6 billion for programme production for its two digital channels, one for news and one in the children/family category.


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