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ABP, STAR Part Ways

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Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP) Group said on Monday it is parting ways with STAR India Private Ltd, allowing the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company to exit from news business in India to focus on entertainment.

STAR India and ABP group agreed to discontinue the STAR brand affiliation with Media Content and Communications (MCCS) India Private Ltd which operates the three Star-branded news channels — Star News,Star Ananda and Star Majha.

Following the split, ABP group, whose core business is news, plans to promote and establish its own brands in the broadcast news space through the subsidiary company MCCS. MCCS has sustained its affiliation with the Star brand for 8 years and both have benefitted from this association. From now on popular Hindi news channel, Star News will be called ABP News; Bengali news channel, Star Ananda becomes ABP Ananda and Marathi news channel, Star Majha will be called ABP Majha.

MCCS chief executive officer Ashok Venkatramani said: "Star and ABP have decided to discontinue the Brand Agreement where Star News has lent the brand to MCCS. Right now Star continues to be a shareholder in MCCS."

Venkataramani further said: "Going forward, ABP will relaunch the brands with new identity. However, I would like to assure you that nothing changes but the name."