A local TV news war is set to explode from Wednesday in an all-out battle for South African viewers.
ANN7 (DStv 405) launches on Wednesday on MultiChoice’s DStv platform – taking the number of local 24-hour TV news channels on offer in the country to three within one month, following the launch of SABC News (DStv 404) at the beginning of August and both channels joining the established eNCA (DStv 403).
ANN7 has not responded to repeated requests for comments on questions by Channel24 the past two weeks.
The channel has gone into an aggressive hiring spree for TV talent and reporters, as well as technical crew, editors and camera operators.
Chantal Rutter Dros will be the news face:
South African TV news woman Chantal Rutter Dros, who left M-Net’s acclaimed investigative magazine show Carte Blanche, will from Wednesday evening become the new primetime news face of ANN7.
Rutter Dros is best known for her work on eNews after which she moved over to M-Net’s Carte Blanche.
“I left Carte Blanche which has been my media home for the past three and a half years for ANN7 because the prospect of once again being part of a start-up was tantalising,” she told Channel24.
“The vision for the news is to reflect information which is relevant, impartial and digestible to people across the rainbow nation,” Rutter Dros said.
“I have always been passionate about news and the prospect of redefining how we tell news and what we define as news is appealing.”
State-of-the-art newsgathering technology:
According to Ruther Dros ANN7 has state-of-the-art technology and the most advanced generation of news on the African continent.
“We have a truly awesome graphics set-up, outside broadcasting (OB) vans and backpacks – which allow us to cover news live from the most remote of areas. We have access to more than 33 global stringers and a network of very well respected local reporters.”
Rutter Dros will anchor ANN7 Headlines from 19:00 to 20:00, followed immediately by ANN7 Prime between 20:00 and 21:00.
“The first show will be the headlines and stories of the day. The second show will be an in-depth analysis of four or five key stories.”
“My aspirations for the future are to develop our news into an informative, entertaining and relevant news source. I hope that we can invite our viewers to share in this vision and to feel that ANN7 is their news station.”
With three local TV news channels on offer in South Africa from tomorrow TV industry insiders are wondering whether all three will be viable and whether there’s enough viewers to sustain eNCA, SABC News and ANN7.
Media experts are also wondering about the impact on newspapers as even more journalists are joining the fray looking to scoop each other.