Network18 and A&E Television Networks (AETN) have announced the appointment of Ajay Chacko as President of AETN18 Media Pvt Ltd, the recently announced joint venture between AETN and Network18.
Chacko will be based in Mumbai and will be responsible for the day-to-day operational, strategic and financial management of the joint venture and its suite of channels and services.
AETN18 plans to launch History, Bio, Crime & Investigation Network and other popular AETN entertainment channels in the Indian market. These launches are expected to be announced shortly.
B Saikumar, Group COO, Network18, said, “The entertainment space in India is ripe for a new phase of growth and I believe that Ajay will play a significant role in making AETN18 a leader of that trend. I am confident of his ability to seed media brands, establish them and create leadership. This, coupled with his intimate understanding of the broadcast space, will help AETN18 achieve the objective of creating India’s leading factual entertainment network and in the process, expand the genre.”
“Ajay brings a very successful track record as a leader and a wealth of knowledge about the Indian market to the venture,” said Sean Cohan, Senior, Vice President, AETN International, in a prepared statement. “With him at the helm, we are well-positioned to realise our shared vision of strong and vibrant entertainment services in India.”
Commenting on this development, Ajay Chacko said, “I believe that the Indian factual entertainment opportunity is truly compelling, with the twin forces of evolving viewer tastes and digitisation driving demand for such content to an inflection point. At AETN18, our focus will be to unleash the power of globally acclaimed brands such as History, Bio, Crime & Investigation Network with programming that resonates with Indian viewers. I’m looking forward to working with the business and content team in our journey to create India’s leading factual entertainment group.”
With a career spanning over 15 years, Ajay Chacko has rich experience across a variety of roles in sales, marketing and general management within the media and entertainment and services industry. During his tenure at Network18 over the past seven years, Chacko has played a critical role in steering CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and Forbes India to leadership positions. Prior to joining the group, he had worked with leading majors in media and financial services in various capacities involving stints with IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, India), Sharekhan and The Indian Express Group.