Johannesburg – At a press conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday MultiChoice announced the successful bidder that will replace 24-hour news channel Afro Worldview.
Formerly known as the controversial ANN7, Afro Worldview’s contract with the pay TV operator had been terminated in August, leaving staff at the channel in limbo.
Interested parties were allowed to bid to start a new local South African TV news channel that would replace Afro Worldview, and according to MultiChoice, over 60 groups took their shot.
Making the announcement about the successful candidate, Mutlichoice CEO Calvo Mawela said: “I am pleased to announce that the successful bidder is Newzroom Afrika."
The new channel is 100 percent black owned and 50 percent female owned.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at Multichoice said: "Newzroom Afrika is a 50/50 partnership between successful television production entrepreneurs Thokozoni Nkosi of Eclipse TV and his partner Thabile Ngwato of Rapid Innovation.
Ngwato is a former SABC news anchor and producer.
Their bid stood out for its potential to bring a fresh, creative and diversified approach to news reporting, which included an integrated digital strategy, combined with sound audience analysis and appealing on-screen execution.
Newzroom Afrika has assembled an editorial team with proven news media credentials.
Television executive Zanele Mthembu will head the broadcast operation; while the newsroom will be under the leadership of veteran news media executive and journalist Malebo Phage. There will be an editorial ethics oversight board spearheaded by Joe Thloloe and Dinesh Balliah, a forward-thinking journalist and academic.
According to Multichoice the new channel will enhance and enrich the news offering on DStv, while at the same time create a new black-owned entrant in South African news media.
EXCITED AND RARING TO GO
Speaking about the channel Nkosi said that they are "excited and raring to go".
"This is a great opportunity for us to bring a fresh perspective to South African news media by building a news channel from scratch."
Ngwato added: "It’s no secret that the future of media is digital, which is why we took a deliberate decision to put digital at the heart of our news channel, to be disrupters rather than being disrupted. Our channel will be a new offering with a new perspective and approach."
The channel is committed to providing independent and dependable reporting.
They are still finalising a launch plan for the new channel and are looking to launch early 2019.