The Gupta goofs: ANN7 news channel fumbles through launch
The launch of news channel Ann7 got off to a rocky start this week, with newsreaders mispronouncing names, squinting at the teleprompter, fumbling over words and the crew talking over seemingly unprepared presenters.
The channel, which is South Africa's third 24-hour news channel, is dubbed ‘Gupta TV’, as it is owned by the powerful Gupta family.
A bulletin recorded here by blogger Seth Rotherham (2OceansVibe), shows a newsreader tripping on her tongue, mispronouncing political group ‘Agang SA’ and squinting to read the teleprompter.
Behind her, a crew member moves about in view of the camera.
Rotherham said: “ANN7 news channel (Gupta-TV) is the worst thing to hit television in South Africa. Ever. It's like a children's school play. Please enjoy this.”
A second video shows two very awkward sports presenters making a hash of their first show, with neither knowing what was going on.
They were talking to the crew, the crew was audible to the viewer and they had uncomfortable silences in between what seemed like no script whatsoever.
A third video, though much better than the previous two, sees the newsreader turning Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke female, calling him “Michelle Clarke”.
Blogger Tom Kennedy of entertainment site Don’t Party said “ANN7 could soon replace Comedy Central...”
ZANews said: “MultiChoice’s DStv launched their latest offering, the ANN7 news channel…we have no words and neither do these news reporters!
“#WorstNewsDayEver We’re still not sure if this is a new sketch comedy show or an actually news channel….”
The public has been giving the channel a social media lashing over its glitches, with @RanjeniM saying on Twitter: “Think #ANN7 just outdid SABC with first broadcast glitch: dead air plus background chatter”.
@RadioDukeRadio said: “I'm sorry...when you open a TV station, you don't use the first day as a dummy run”.
@JustCuriousZA said: “Gupta TV - i mean #ANN7 should be something prisoners are forced to watch as part of serving time behind bars!”