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“CNN-News18’s look aims at providing enhanced viewing experience”

Last month, CNN-IBN was relaunched as CNN-News18 with a fresh look. BestMediaInfo caught up with Rajen Garabadu, Chief Executive Producer, IBN News Network, to discuss the modalities of the rebranding

Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | May 23, 2016


On April 18 at 8 PM, CNN-IBN gave itself a new avatar as it became CNN-News 18 – with a fresh look, packaging and programming. caught up with Rajen Garabadu, Chief Executive Producer, CNN-News18, IBN7 & IBN Lokmat, and discussed the new look and packaging of the channel.

Rajen Garabadu Rajen Garabadu

Commenting on the new look, Garabadu said, “The new look aims at providing the viewer a more enhanced viewing experience. A viewer watches if the content appeals and is engaging or likes the way it looks. We thought that the new branding will give us an opportunity to come with a new visual identity which is engaging.”

A logo change is a must when a channel rebrands itself. Therefore, the channel’s changed logo is now red, black and white with red and black in the background and the foreground is white – in stark contrast to the previous globe and CNN written on top of IBN.

Explaining the idea behind the logo, Garabadu said, “We wanted to give a strong, sophisticated impartial look and, most importantly, a brand you can trust. So, we chose the particular colours that represent those qualities. Red is the most attractive, stimulating colour and it represents energy and action. Black represents strength, sophistication and it makes you look modern. White implies fairness and quality besides being elegant.”

A study was done by the channel before starting work on the rebranding. It found that most viewers struggle with either watching or reading the news. Too many information pieces were disseminated at the same time on the screen. Therefore, viewer gets confused. The screen was cluttered with too much text and disturbing animations too.

Talking about the design of the screen, Garabadu explained, “When we began with design, we decided to go back to the basics. We made our own ABCD: Aesthetic, Bold, Clean and Dynamic. The design of the screen has been created while keeping these principles in mind.”

CNN-News18 is both for people watching the channel with audio on and in mute mode. Therefore, it comes with a lot of graphics on the screen as it is more convenient for people in offices because they consume news by just reading the graphics. The look will equally appeal to the people who listen and watch the news.

Before the relaunch of the channel, a series of promos were released for the same.

The channel went into a lot of brainstorming sessions on the design and information dissemination. Some believed that a viewer should be provided with multiple layers of information and some thought the other way round.

Garabadu said, “There is always a trade-off between information and design. My editorial team would become handicapped if they were not allowed to present multi-layer information that the competition does and ultimately lose out. The biggest challenge was to strike a balance between information and design. We took one month to decide the ground where both exist equally.”

The channel’s screen has a clear visual hierarchy and compartments. Latest news appears in red, which is the central part of the screen. The ticker is in gold and black. The right hand side panel is black on white which provides value added information, promotions and marketing and sales integration.

On the positioning of the channel, he said, “We deliver content which is neither sensational nor boring. Unfortunately, the English news viewer is caught between loud and sensationalist channels, hunting for a villain everyday on one hand and others which refuse to change. We provide a distinct alternative, which hopefully will attract the viewer.”

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