Rajesh Iyer to lead Viacom18’s four regional markets

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MUMBAI: Viacom18 has restructured its regional entertainment business with appointment of Rajesh Iyer as head of four regional general entertainment channels (GECs) – Colors Bangla, Colors Odia, Colors Tamil and Colors Gujarati.

Ravish Kumar, who was heading the entire regional portfolio of Viacom18 so far, will now look after Viacom18’s channels in the Kannada and Marathi markets.

Both Iyer and Kumar will work closely to grow the regional broadcast footprint of Viacom18, the company said.

This is Iyer’s second stint at Viacom18. In his earlier tenure, Iyer had served for six years, and was head of marketing of the flagship GEC, Colors, before joining Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) in the leadership team and launching second GEC, &TV.

Later, he also headed YuppTV before joining Network18 in March last year as president, special projects. He has worked closely with the leadership team to spearhead new initiatives.

“Regional broadcast entertainment is a key pillar in our endeavour to chart out a high-growth path for Viacom18. India is witnessing an unprecedented boom in the segment and agility is the need of the hour to get to leadership positions in our existing regional markets. With his years of leadership experience across TV and digital ecosystems, Rajesh is ably poised to take on the challenges presented by the genre and successfully grow the business,” said Rahul Joshi, MD, Viacom18.

Recently Reliance Industries, the majority shareholder in Viacom18, had ended merger talks with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN). The company also retrospectively restored salaries of its employees.

Media experts feel that with the merger plans out of the way, Reliance is now looking at investing in the entertainment company, which is the smallest among the big four networks in terms of both revenues and market share.

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