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Avinash Kaul quits NDTV Media; headed to Sahara One

11-February-2010
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Avinash Kaul quits NDTV Media; headed to Sahara One

After being with NDTV Media since its inception, Avinash Kaul, the Executive Vice President of the company, has decided to move on. While Kaul could not be contacted at the time of filing the story, it is understood that his next destination is Sahara One, where he would be heading the broadcasting side of the business, including the Hindi general entertainment channel Sahara One, as its CEO.

Prior to this, Kaul was with STAR India as Senior Manager, and prior to that with Discovery Communications. His previous experience also includes a stint at Mindshare India as Media Planner.

In an internal email, NDTV Media’s CEO Raj Nayak stated: “Avinash at the helm of one of our partner associates, I am sure, will only help us strengthen the relationship, and with his managerial skills and domain knowledge he will be able to add value to the partner business that we represent.”

In the mail, a copy of which is with exchange4media, Nayak also said: “Avinash and I have been in discussion over the last few months, and given the deep level of his involvement with the business associate it was tough for him to scale back his commitments. Also from my side, given the challenges the new role provided & his domain expertise, it would not have been fair for me to hold him back. After much discussion and consultation with me, Avinash has taken this big step.”

On a more personal note in the mail, Nayak has said, “Avinash, as you all know, has been with me since my days at STAR TV, and has been a senior member of our management team. He has played an active role and contributed immensely to the success and growth of NDTV Media. His departure will be a big loss to all of us at NDTV Media, and even more for those who have known him from the beginning. 10 years is a long time in a relationship where you’ve spent more time with each other than with your own family, and fond memories of all the trying times & good times together.”

Sources close to the development informed that Kaul was in all likelihood headed to Sahara One as it CEO. It may be recalled that some of the media professionals who had held this post in the past included Shantonu Aditya and Sharmista Rijhwani. Following Rijhwani’s exit in 2008, Sahara One had appointed Nilanjana Purkayastha to head the business in May 2008. However, Purkayastha moved on from the company by the end of the year. Sahara One did not announce a head following this.

Kaul’s move to Sahara One comes at a time when the Hindi general entertainment business is undergoing a new set of rules and game changers. It would be interesting to see how this move impacts Sahara One in the Hindi GE space.

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