ISTANBUL - A room full of Turkey’s leading news personalities was abuzz yesterday as veteran journalist and anchorman Mehmet Ali Birand took the stage at the Doğan TV Center in Istanbul to explain the changes viewers will be seeing on CNN-Türk.
Birand is trying to shake up CNN-Türk’s reputation as a "serious channel" with some new concepts that will be introduced during the upcoming season, which started on March 2. "We are bringing back a living legend," Birand said, referring to the famous anchorman Reha Muhtar, who will be reviewing the news of the day in his distinct style every weekday at 11 p.m. Another newcomer to CNN-Türk, producer/announcer Metin Uca, will take an alternative and humorous look at the day's events during a program that will be broadcast at 7 p.m. every weekday. The primetime newscast is also being moved to 6 p.m. on weekdays. "For us it is news, news, news," said Birand. "We have established Turkey’s largest newsroom [with] a total of 200 people."
Birand said the channel’s visual look has been updated to reflect the changes made in its broadcasting. "We changed our graphics, changed our approach, we put emphasis on news," said Birand. "We will see whether we are successful within the next couple of months, according to the signs we receive from you. Then in September, we will fine tune. Our final aim is to enliven the channel and increase its ratings by June 2010."
CNN-Türk was established in 1999 as a joint venture between the DMG and Time Warner.