Key media happenings in South- 2017

These people movements and happenings indicate the rapidly changing media landscape in South India

e4m by Akshata R Murthy
Updated: Dec 29, 2017 8:49 AM

That the year 2017 has been quite an eventful one across sectors is no secret. This year also witnessed several key people movements.
Speaking of the South region, here are some of the key people movements that happened in the year gone by:

Infosys movements

The news of Vishal Sikka, Former MD & CEO of Infosys stepping down in August 2017 created quite a stir. There were heavy speculations and reactions on social media around who’s next in line?, reasons behind Sikka's exit and how Infosys would get impacted. The Twitterattis had also begun a trending hashtag #VishalSikka and #CEOpost. Following this major news, the quitting of Sanjay Rajagopalan, Senior VP and Head-Design Thinking, Infosys was also trending with the hashtag #Rajagopalan.

New position at an iconic brand

Kamal Krishnan PS joined Mathrubhumi as National Head – Media Solutions in May this year. He also handles the brand’s integrated media solutions. This is said to be a designation that was newly created at Mathrubhumi. In his previous stint, he was heading Response at Times of India, Kerala. “Stepping into this position during an extremely transitional stage in media is quite challenging, but I’m confident of leading the change for this great institution," said Kamal when asked about his new role. The responsibility he will be handling at Mathrubhumi is to drive Media Solutions for Print & Magazines nationally. The challenge is to develop a fresh approach to the transitional phase of media along with strategies that can drive overall growth of the company. He is also closely working on integrating MB media businesses for delivering value packed solutions for advertisers.

CEO quits to start new venture

Shyam Kumar, CEO of Puthiya Thalaimurai, quit in order to venture out on his own. He decided to step out of this leading Tamil news channel after about 21 years of his career spent here. When asked to give a hint about his next venture, Shyam said, “We need to give back to the society at large. India is in need of Leaders and we need to channelise and guide the Youth power in the right way.” The media conglomerate hasn’t yet revealed anything about the next CEO who will be stepping into Shyam’s shoes.

OTT player ropes in COO from major media brand

YuppTV, an OTT player catering to the South-Asian entertainment, roped in Rajesh Iyer, Executive Vice President and Business Head, & TV – ZEEL Group as the Chief Operating Officer for APAC and Middle East. Iyer has over 16 years of experience leading functions and business with leading names in the broadcast media domain, including ZEEL, Viacom18 and Star India. He will take charge of his new role from January 2018 onwards. When asked about this movement, Uday Reddy, Founder & CEO of Yupp TV, said, “With Rajesh joining us and dedicated teams in each of the territory, we are affirmative for a multi-fold growth in the coming years especially in the new markets of APAC & ME.”

Head of Sales & Marketing elevated to COO

PR Satheesh of MM TV was elevated from Head of Sales & Marketing to Chief Operating Officer at Malayala Manorama. He will be responsible for the entertainment content of the channel apart from its business operations. Satheesh said, “I am really excited to be taking over the mandate at a stage when there is much scope to expand and drive the vision for the next few years.”
Some major developments in the media, marketing and advertising industry in the South were:

Significant steps to compete against big players in TV

A number of news channels paved their way into the South market. Some channels took significant steps towards being recognised amongst the big players. Digh Vijay and TV5 are some that made it to the Kannada news channel industry. Digh Vijay which is owned by VRL media headed by Anand Sankeshwar is now one of the leading Kannada news channels. TV5, which is the Kannada version of a leading Telugu news channel, made its debut to the Kannada television industry on October 2, 2017.

Increasing importance of regional

Whether it is advertising or marketing, being present at the regional level is gaining importance. Several national brands are now recognising the importance of southern regional markets being critical for them to grow their business.
This paved way for innovators to put on their thinking hats. There were many out-of-the-box ad campaigns that could be witnessed which included integrated media campaigns and more.

Onam, which is considered the first festival of the traditional calendar, saw a lot of national brands increasing their ad spends on regional media in Kerala this year. According to industry experts, about 40% of the overall advertising budgets are spent during this festive season which starts with Onam and continues till Christmas and New Year. Regardless of GST and Demonetisation, which completed its first year in November 2017, all in all it was a happy Onam for the media industry.

The signature event of the exchange4media group, exchange4media Conclave, was organized in Bengaluru for the first ever edition of the South conclave. This event saw participation of some key brands.

The downside

Journalists Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in Bengaluru. She was the editor of Lankesh Patrike, a famous Kannada weekly which was founded in 1980 by her father P Lankesh, and she also ran her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike. The media fraternity mourned her death and questioned the freedom of press.

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