Just as the industry was getting used to an additional Hindi GEC, and awaiting the likes of NDTV Imagine and Zee Next, Viacom18 Media has sent a reminder that it too would be competing in the Hindi GEC space in 2008. The entity has roped in Endemol India’s MD Rajesh Kamat to head this channel. When contacted, Haresh Chawla, Group CEO, Network18, confirmed the move but there were no further details on this development.
Even as the channel has already filled in some positions like that of Ashwini Yardi as Head of content and creative, Kamat is expected to build the other teams soon. This move has no implication on other components of Viacom18 Media, which houses music channels, kids’ channels and Studio18. At present, the respective heads of these units are reporting to the Viacom18 Media board.
Kamat, who was previously Senior Vice-President and Executive Committee member of STAR India, had joined Endemol India as Managing Director in January 2006. A replacement for him at Endemol has not been identified so far.
Viacom18, a JV between Viacom and Network18 (then TV18), was formed in May 2007. This entity intends to include brands that are in the space of television, film and digital media content, spread across numerous media to build a multi-platform entertainment company. The Hindi GEC will include original, locally produced programming and acquisitions.