"If there's one industry that has changed beyond recognition in the past few years, it's television," said Vineet Tewari, executive editor, CNN-IBN. The genre had radically transformed through both news and entertainment segments, he said.
His statements resonate on in every living room; the plethora of news and entertainment channels launched in the last three years is testimony to the omnipresence of the airwaves.
According to the 2005 annual edition of an industry body, the Indian entertainment and media industry is poised to grow at 19 per cent on average to reach Rs 83,740 crore by 2010, from Rs 35,300 crore in 2006.
Tewari said the industry might even be growing a little too quickly. "Several challenges come with the growth. Eventually, the expansion will outstrip supply. We are already facing the problem of finding the right kind of talent, and enough talent," he said.
Inadequate talent is just one of the problems; there's a lack of good training institutes, and little awareness about the several different jobs available in the industry.
"Students come out of training institutes either wanting to be a news anchor or a reporter. There are over a dozen different career options within television journalism - desk writers, copy editors, video editors, engineers and so on," said Tewari.
He said it was difficult to put a number on how many jobs have been generated with the proliferation of news channels.
"When CNN-IBN was launched three years ago, 300 people were recruited. Today, Network 18 (which owns Global Broadcast News, the entity that runs CNN-IBN) employs 6,000 people, including backend employees."
And the numbers are only going to grow. Tewari doesn't believe that there's a clash for space among the print, web and television mediums. "When the television industry began to burgeon, everyone thought newspapers would be wiped out. But we have only witnessed the launch of more editions," he said.
"Besides, the penetration level for television is still low in India. As the number of cable and satellite homes grows, the margins will increase."