Zee News chalks out aggressive growth strategy; ropes in B V Rao as Group Editor

Zee News chalks out aggressive growth strategy; ropes in B V Rao as Group Editor

Author | Abhijeet Mukherjee | Wednesday, Feb 13,2008 6:50 AM

Zee News chalks out aggressive growth strategy; ropes in B V Rao as Group Editor

Major changes are afoot at Zee News Ltd. The media group has embarked on an extensive restructuring exercise as part of its aggressive growth strategy. As part of this process, Zee News is making a slew of key recruitments for its channel as well as Internet properties.

It is notable that Zee News Limited had roped in Barun Das as the CEO three months ago and these changes and the new strategy are part of the plan Barun Das has set in motion after taking charge.

B V Rao has been brought in as Group Editor to look after the Group’s news channel, while Mandar Parab has been appointed as Editor of 24 Taas.

Rao has nearly two decades of experience in the media. He is expected to join by early March from Star News, where he is Senior Executive Editor. Rao began his career with Delhi Mid-Day in 1989, where he worked till 1991, before moving on to The Indian Express Bangalore, where he worked from 1991-94 as News Editor. Rao had three stints with The Express Group in Mumbai as well as Ahmedabad. In 1994, he joined Free Press Journal as Executive Editor and worked there for two years. He had also worked for The Times of India as Deputy Resident Editor for around a year. He was with the India Today Group for three years, and DNA Mumbai for a year as Associate Editor.

Commenting on his new appointment, Rao said, “I am very excited as Zee News is among those few channels that are more faithful to news. It is a great challenge for me to lead in that direction with more focus and force.”

Commenting on the new appointments at Zee News Limited, Divya Verma Head of Human Resources said "We are happy to induct proven and experienced talent for the next level of growth of Zee News"

New appointments and restructuring are also being effected in the Group’s Business and Ad Sales departments. Raktimanu Das would now be the Business Head of Zee Business, while Rajiv Tyagi is Vice-President, Special Projects. Das joins from the India Today Group, where he was GM-Marketing. He had also worked with Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd as Senior Officer Response.

Other key appointments

Rajiv Tyagi has joined Zee from Media Content & Communications Services (MCCS), which is a 74:26 joint venture between ABP TV and STAR Group and runs Star News and Star Ananda news channels. He has also worked for the India Today Group, Grolier International and ABP.

Samir Ahluwalia, who was hitherto Editor of Zee Business, has been made Business Head of the Group’s Internet initiatives. This is in addition to his role of Consulting Editor of Zee Business.

Vineet Gupta has been appointed as Sales Head of the All India Internet initiatives. Gupta joins in from Century Communications. He has also worked in Zee Telefilms, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, India TV, Star News among others.

Amit Tripathi would be the Group Ad Sales Head and look after the All India sales of Zee Business, Zee News, 24 Taas and 24 Ghanta. Renuka Iyer would be the All India Ad Sales Head for Zee News; V S Tuli would be All India Ad Sales head for Zee Business. Upendra Wellinger and Amitava Banerjee, who are expected to join shortly, would head the Ad Sales for 24 Taas and 24 Ghanta, respectively. Banerjee joins from BCCL Kolkata. He has also worked with the India Today Group and ABP.

Siddharth Ray has been appointed as Deputy VP-Marketing, 24 Taas.

Zee had earlier roped in Alka Saxena as Consultant.

Commenting on the appointments and the restructuring exercise, Barun Das, CEO, Zee News, said, “We have restructured to focus on individual businesses. We have aggressive plans for some new initiatives, which are expected to unfurl by the coming year. Every brand would be treated as individual Strategic Business Units (SBUs) to back certain strategies, which are expected in due course of time.”

Commenting on the new responsibilities, Tyagi, Vice-President, Special Projects, said, “We are trying to work out a mutual relationship not only in our existing clientele but also in the virgin space. We plan to develop an environment on air, on ground and provide a 360-degree experience to our advertisers. We will also come out with solutions for those who are not our advertisers but seek audience interaction face-to-face for image benefit.”

“We have a range of programmes, which could be in terms of corporate, exhibition, sporting activities for the client’s target audience, which could be young students and executives to experienced CEOs and middle-level managers as well. In short, we plan to provide multi-level benefits to our audience. We would also have partnerships with print at the national and regional levels as well as with our radio partners,” added Tyagi.

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