Recently, TVC News, a member of TVC Communications, launched a brand-new high definition news studio, as part of a substantial ongoing investment plan aimed at growing the TVC Group of Companies into one of Nigeria’s leading media organizations. The new studio, in addition to a sizeable team of journalists, producers and the latest mobile satellite technology, spread throughout Nigeria, will enable the organization attain its goal of being First With Breaking News. Chief Executive Officer, TVC Communications, Andrew Hanlon, provides more insight on the company’s growth plans
Congratulations on your re-launch initiative. We understand it is a total package. Can you tell us what you have set out to achieve with this move?
The changes we are introducing at TVC News are about more than just aesthetics and marketing positioning statements, the changes go to the very core of the radical transformation which we have embarked upon since TVC Communications was born in 2017.
Remember what we set out to do back then; we said we would change our products and services to become one of Nigeria’s leading media companies, whose focus would be 100% directed at audiences and advertisers – to offer TV, radio and online services which would have mass appeal in a marketplace which is cluttered with domestic and foreign competitors, all fighting for the same eyes and ears and advertiser budgets.
But to do that, you have to offer something different, something which is attractive to a sophisticated audience and something which literally stands out from the crowd. If you get that right, then you attract substantial multi-platform audience volumes, and this, of course, is what advertisers want.
In short; if we don’t have a quality radio and TV offering which has a unique point of difference – then we are irrelevant, and that is something we are not prepared to be.
Looking at your new tagline, what factors underscore your messaging, considering that you hitherto aspired to be the “first Pan-African news agency”?
TVC News has been a real innovator in Nigeria and it took real courage and commitment to launch the service several years ago, something we are very proud of to this day. The service has a real purpose in its short existence to the social and political fabric of Nigeria, but now the time has come for the second part of our evolution. Our positioning statement of being First with Breaking News isn’t just a tagline, it is a major promise to our audience that TVC News will be the channel you come to as big stories unfold anywhere in Nigeria. To fulfill that commitment, you must be capable of mobilizing correspondent’s and technical teams anywhere, anytime in this vast country, within a very short space of time to get the story on air – and that’s what separates TVC News from other news networks. We have invested millions of dollars in live satellite technology and in our people– which we have based right around the country, thus enabling us to broadcast live anywhere at any time which means we are First for Breaking News.
We understand you brought in new equipment and facilities. What specifically are these and how will they impact on your operations?
We have just outlined the investment in our people and portable satellite technology which we have dispersed throughout Nigeria, and which enables us to broadcast live, anywhere, anytime. In addition to that we understand and appreciate that Nigerians expect to be visually engaged by the aesthetic look and feel of a channel. So we have also just purpose built a new state-of-the-art high definition TV studio.
In the media and communication space, we often hear the maxim – content is everything. Are we looking at seeing fresh content and presentation styles, and maybe new anchors/presenters?
The freshness of our content will be driven by our ability to be First With Breaking News – that is our maxim, but being balanced and accurate is also crucially important to us and our viewers. We have excellent, highly experienced news anchors who will be the faces of the new TVC News, but they will be seen in a totally different and dynamic environment which we believe viewers will find very appealing.
Are there new market segments which were hitherto underserved and which you believe would be captured now with your rebranding effort?
In the short number of years that TVC News has been on air we have only scratched the surface of what is possible in respect of mass audience appeal and greater support from our friends in the advertising market – so we are very serious about creating much greater awareness of TVC News.
Unquestionably, news channels tend to attract slightly more men than women, but we also believe viewers are ready and are open to something that they deem more relevant to their tastes and interests.
In your conceptualization and execution, did you ever give some thought to the saying, Failure is an Option? In asking this question, we have DAARSAT, HiTV and COMSAT in mind.
We are in the business of broadcasting and we do not invest in anything which doesn’t become successful or does not produce a return for us and our shareholders. Before we make an investment, we study the market dynamics, the audience data, identify opportunities, we listen to what viewers and advertisers are saying through market research and then we look at that against the investment required to come up with a business model which works.
We can’t predict the future, but we can use our collective knowledge, experience and expertise to produce a winning formula for the business. We don’t pursue projects if we don’t believe we can succeed!
Inadequate power supply in Nigeria is a major challenge, how are you dealing with this condition?
As part of our investment programme for TVC Communications we have invested substantial sums to help us overcome the obstacles which so many businesses endure with an unreliable power supply. Like so many others in Nigeria, we were forced to examine different power sources, stability and continuity of supply, cost per unit, pollution impact and a range of other matters. We believe we made huge strides in this area having achieved radical reductions in diesel consumption and running costs.
With large buildings, a big campus with over 400 staff and substantial amounts of technical equipment to run 24 hours a day in need of constant cooling, our power requirements are substantial and costly but hopefully now we will reap the benefits of our energy investment strategy.
We have so much more to do in this challenging area and we will always try to find new and more cost-effective ways to reduce our energy costs and our impact on the environment.
What competitive edge do you think TVC News brings to the market place?
The most competitive edge you can have in any business is to never assume you know everything and that you have all the answers! We believe that the best way to get ahead is to continually connect and listen to our customers (audience and advertisers) through research, data and engagement, and give them what they want and continually try to improve upon it – that is the journey we are right now, but we are still only at the beginning of the road.
The uniqueness of TVC News will be its ability to break news first and fast, but also to offer balanced and strong editorial content presented in a visually appealing style.
How will you assess the impact of the last logo on the brand’s equity logo?
Logos come and go all the time but what remains constant for us, and what is of greatest value to us is the TVC brand, the equity we has built over the years, and our aspirations for it.
The previous TVC News mark was very identifiable and instantly recognizable, so it did a fantastic job for our business, but tastes and trends change over the years and we felt it was time to introduce a more contemporary look to our identity and to complement the major changes we are introducing on-air with our new studios and on-screen graphics.
TVC News recently won the “Best Television Station of the Year” at the 26th Nigerian Media Merit Awards. To what will you attribute this milestone?
Being voted Nigeria’s “Best Television Station” at the prestigious NMMA awards, will be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our amazing, talented and dynamic team of reporters, production staff and management team. Of all the awards to win, this was the one we really wanted, so we are delighted. The trick now is to hang on to it!
What targets have you set for the organization over the next five years?
We want to radically increase our share of viewing / listening and advertising revenue in the Nigerian market.