Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) CEO, Kunal Dasgupta, has quit the organisation. An internal announcement was made in MSM earlier on February 19. Man Jit Singh, who was appointed Chairman on the Multi Screen Media board in March 2007, then known as SET India, is the interim CEO. Singh will lead the search for a new CEO. Multi Screen Media officials have confirmed the development to exchange4media.
MSM had an executive committee meeting on February 18, where all top officials of the organisation, including Andy Kaplan, SPTI’s President, International Networks, were present. It is understood that Dasgupta, along with other Sony top management, addressed the Sony officials on February 19 on this new development.
In a press statement issued later in the day, Kaplan stated, “Kunal was one of the first people to join what was then our only channel in India, Sony Entertainment Television, and has played an instrumental role in growing our channel’s business to what it is today. Kunal has maintained fruitful relationships with India’s top directors, producers and actors, and not to forget, close ties with the cricket world. While Kunal’s experience and leadership will be greatly missed, we are fortunate that Multi Screen has strong existing management and the business is strategically focused.”
The statement also said, “Dasgupta leaves Multi Screen well-positioned for further growth, with a stable management, strong programming schedules, and rights to Indian Premier League cricket, making it one of the most valuable properties in the Indian television Industry.”
Dasgupta had joined SET before its launch in July 1995, and was one of the first employees. Prior to joining the company, he had held executive positions at Mattel Toys, and later, the DGP Group, where he was a crucial member of the senior management. He is a member of numerous industry boards, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Indian chapter of the International Advertising Association, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and several others. In addition to that, he is a member of the Key Advisory Group to India’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
Dasgupta is credited with tremendous growth of SPTI’s television networks business in India – from just one channel in 1995, Sony Entertainment Television (SET), to Multi Screen and a stream of other channels that now includes not just SET, but also MAX, SAB and PIX. Besides, the overall management of Multi Screen’s channels in India, Dasgupta had also played a significant role in the formation of a distribution bouquet, TheOneAlliance, a joint venture between Multi Screen and Discovery Communications India that distributes 18 channels throughout the Sub-continent. Other than distributing Multi Screen’s channels, TheOneAlliance also distributes SPTI’s AXN and Animax channels along with Discovery, Animal Planet, Discovery Travel & Living, MTV, Nick, Vh1, Aaj Tak, Tez, Headlines Today, NDTV Profit, NDTV 24x7, NDTV India and now Colors.