Zee Media to expand regional bouquet: Newly appointed CEO of Regional News Network

Purushottam Vaishnav recently replaced Jagdish Chandra as CEO of Zee Media's Regional News Network; he talks about his new role and betting big on regional expansion

On April 13, Zee Media witnessed a significant movement in management, in which, the Regional News Network CEO Jagdish Chandra stepped down, and the Deputy CEO Purushottam Vaishnav took charge. Earlier, Vaishnav was heading Zee24 Ghanta, Bihar & Jharkhand, and Zee Kalinga. Apart from the regional bouquet, he will also handle two national channels, Zee Hindustan and Zee Salam. Vaishnav will also look after its print edition, DNA Jaipur.

In conversation with exchange4media, the recently promoted CEO of Zee Media’s Regional News Network shares insights about his new role and expansion plans. Excerpts:

What will be your role at Zee Media as CEO for Regional Channels?

Now I will be heading two national channels, Zee Hindustan and Zee Salam. Apart from that will also be looking after Zee Rajasthan and DNA Rajasthan edition, which is our English newspaper, along with the new North East channel, launching in the month of July. I will be taking charge of the responsibilities which were handled by Jagdish Chandra.

This is the first time I will be handling national channels, so far I was working for regional channels. The aim will be to establish those two channels and make them viable .

What do you think would be your biggest challenge?

The national space is challenging. Zee News itself is a big brand, and apart from Zee News, there are so many other established brands. It will be challenging to establish the two channels, Zee Hindustan and Zee Salam. Our target for Zee Hindustan is for it to be in the top five news channels in the next three months. And secondly, we are working towards to building the credibility of Zee Salam in the Urdu space.

Will it not be competition for Zee News?

In the Zee Group, we promote in-house competition. Even in the entertainment space, Zee TV is an established brand, but we still have other GECs. Zee TV and &TV both are in good positions and are successful.

What is the key difference between a regional and national news channel, according to you?

It's a difference of perspective. News is news, it doesn't matter whether it is in a metro city or a small city. Most of the big news from the regional space becomes national news. Since I have worked with regional news channels, my aim now will be to build a coordination between the regional and national channels. The power of regional could strengthen the national. Regional means that I can reach anywhere.

On the ad revenue front, how much did regional contribute to Zee Media?

The regional channels are doing very well for the group. I can’t share the numbers with you but we are at good EBITDA.

What is your plan for 2018?

We are planning to expand our regional reach, and Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the markets we looking at. In this financial year we will take the decision and will venture in those markets. In the entertainment space we are already there and leading those markets. Now is the time for Zee Media.
How has your journey been with Zee Media over the years? 

Zee Media is a great place to work, learn and grow. You won’t get a better place and opportunity than this. I joined Zee as a simple bureau chief of Rajasthan, and today I am heading the regional channels for the network. I am very thankful to Zee Media for giving me this opportunity. For more updates, subscribe to exchange4media's WhatsApp Channel- https://bit.ly/2QUdLCK

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