Arna Media Chair Baizhanov: Aim is good quality mass media market

Arna Media Chair Baizhanov: Aim is good quality mass media marketASTANA. September 15. KAZINFORM  “Our aims is not only technical modernization and commercial efficiency of the companies of the holding but to provide good quality information content”, Chairman of Arna Media Holding said in an interview published in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper today.

Arna Media National Information Holding was founded last year. What novelty did the Holding bring into the work of state mass media? How is it important for the newspapers and TV?

The Holding was officially established on November 29, 2008 after the session of the Board of Directors and first decisions were made. Main priorities of the Holding’s activity were defined. We consider state mass media as a political recourse and ideological tool of the state as well as business-assets.

It should be noted that the principle of donation of press and TV has been preserved till today. State mass media   used to rely on constant budgetary support. Since 2001 to 2007 state financing of mass media was raised from KZT 4 up to 20 billion. This led to budgetary paternalism.

Television is the most attractive media resource for advertisers. How do you assess the work of state TV channels?

In whole, I positively evaluate their work. This estimation is based on the ratings of TV watching. In particular, Kazakhstan TV channel advanced in this direction, its rating grew from 3.5 to 7 points. Certain products of the channel will join leaders of the rating soon.

Yel Arna Channel demonstrates progress as well, primarily due to several new, interesting programs. It can be said that Yel Arna is in active search for its own unique audience and reaches good results.

Khabar has already found its viewers. These are primarily – public servants, politicians and businessmen who wish to be in score.

Unfortunately, our viewers prefer Russian TV channels to the Kazakh ones. What is being done to raise popularity of our channels? What should our viewers expect in the new season?

The new season started for us in spring when Kazakhstan and Yel Arna channels were renewed and launched their new programs.

From the very beginning we have been focused on specialization of the channels. Such thematic differentiation lets the channels find their own regular audience. We should move towards this. Khabar must develop as an information channel and pay more attention to modernization of news and analytical programs. Yel Arna is mostly a youth-cognitive and entertainment channel. Kazakhstan is considered as a public channel with a wide range of viewers.

By the fall season our channels purchased new Russian and foreign film products. We will start demonstrating a documentary “Images of Eurasia”, an exclusive presentation of new products of Kazakhfilm studio soon. First national project “Games of the Great Steppe” is to go on the air of Yel Arna channel.

An original format of “Khan of Dastarkhan” project with participation of the Kazakh KVN team (Club for the Jovial and Quick-Witted) will be launched. The channel “Kazakhstan” also launches several TV-projects called “Eki Zhuldyz” (Two stars), “Ara” (Bee), “Sen sulu” (You’re beautiful) and others.

Arna Media Holding was selected to broadcast the oncoming 2011 Asian Winter Games. What steps are taken in this direction?

We are ready to start work in this direction. But there is still no final agreement with the management of the Organization Committee of the Asian Games. We still continue correspondence on the topic.

Let us return to the issue of the press. We see changes in the designs of Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper and website of Kazinform Information Agency. These are visual changes. Will they undergo internal changes?

Our goals are not only technical modernization and commercial efficiency of the holding’s companies, but qualitative information content. It should be modern and interesting for a reader. The Presidential Administration and Ministry of Culture and Information – our only stockholder – call us for it.

Kazinform Agency has recently launched a new information project – inforgraphics. This is an effective method of information handling. Making brief and visual aids on main events we help our consumers operate on a voluminous information flow.

Another project – regional newswires – accumulates information about the events taking place in every region of the state.

Modern tendencies of printed press require qualitative analysis of events. Thus a newspaper wins its reader from television and even Internet.

A state newspaper is a daily navigator for a reader throughout the corridors of power revealing the essence of work of state bodies.

What are the near future plans of the Holding?

The Arna Media group of companies launches a procedure of due-diligence that will enable us to evaluate the market cost of our companies, analyze existing risks and get qualitative recommendations on media assets development.

Among less developed projects are our radio stations, small print press and a group of children’s periodicals. We are getting ready to modernize them.

One more special issue is the implementation of digital television. The Holding proposed a concept of implementation and development of digital broadcasting and worked out a complex plan on its realization.

We have a lot of plans. All of them are aimed at qualitative growth of Kazakhstan’s media market and its competitiveness.