Glamour struck, many come, but a few survive. And, for the Telugu television industry, which has grown rapidly in the last one decade, with channels of various genres proliferating, the quest for talent to anchor shows continues.
The number of Telugu channels offering dedicated content such as general entertainment, news, health and spiritual matters, has gone up, but the dearth of good anchors is an issue facing several of them. With a few more new channels in the offing, there is hectic talent scouting for anchors.
The problem, as conceded by seniors in the Telugu television industry, is that while many venture into a career on the telly struck by the glamour quotient, failure to pay attention to professional aspects such as fluency in Telugu language, diction and subject knowledge, has been spoiling their ambitions.
“There is a crunch of anchors coming into the profession with serious intent and train accordingly to make a mark for themselves,” agrees Eluri Raghu Babu, executive director, Rachana Television, and CEO, Vanitha and Bhakthi TV. “It is not just ‘read and go’. They should be able to understand, analyse and contribute, and these traits are not seen in most aspirants these days,” he says.
Such is the dearth of talent that no successor appears in sight for industry ‘veterans’ like Suma, Jhansi and Udayabhanu, according to industry seniors. ETV-2 creative head Amirneni Harikrishna insists that there is no dearth of talent, but aspirants are not patient enough to hone their skills and train to meet the demands of channels.
“Lack of grip of Telugu and the finer nuances of the language is also a key issue,” he says and adds: “They are also restless and look at moving to serials to act and also modelling, which do not help them sustain with anchoring.”
Pointing out the lack of Telugu language skills among most newcomers, Damodar Kosanam, programme head, V6 News channel, says: “The teleprompter runs the script in Telugu, and many fail to follow and read it out as required. The lack of ability to read Telugu properly is the major problem for most.”
Apparently, the quest for anchors who can handle Telugu language well has resulted in some channels deciding to scout for talent in smaller towns and districts. Recruitment camps are also being held in some places.