For someone in his mid twenties, Zakka Jacob — the “moderately known” television anchor, as he calls himself — has the demeanour of a rather distinguished, and some might say, elderly professional. But appearances can be deceptive, Jacob is only on the right side of 25.
But make no mistake he works as much as any seasoned hand — getting in to work before midday and leaving only after his show — at about 10 at night. For this young man, movies, socialising, and friends are luxuries reserved for the weekend.
It sounds all too hectic, but he’s more than content in his chosen medium. Though he confesses that television was not a conscious career choice. In fact, Jacob didn’t study journalism, nor does he have a mass communication background to boast of. He started young, and stayed lucky.
Actually he had the Civil Services in mind, but during his years as an engineering student in Chennai, he did a spot of radio jockeying for All India Radio. One thing led to another, and from radio he got an opening with Sun TV, and eventually moved on to Headlines Today.
Jacob finds TV exciting and a great medium to be in. And of course there are those especially-TV moments. For instance, when on a weekend out with friends at a movie hall or mall hopping people stop and say “look that TV anchor”.
Besides, a TV job according to Jacob does not have the monotony that a 9-5-desk job is almost synonymous with. “There’s always something new happening,” he says, adding, “Of course, it can get stressful, but at the end of the day it is a very rewarding job.” Not to mention the big bucks of course.
What plans for the future? Other than a management course “at some point”, Jacob says he’s happy with how things are at this point.