NEW DELHI: Man Jit Singh, the chief executive officer of Multi-Screen Media, has been elected as the the new President of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the apex body of country's fast growing broadcasting industry.
The elections were held in a Board meeting after the Annual General Meeting (IBF) of the IBF in Mumbai.
Times TV Network MD and CEO Sunil Lulla, India TV chairman Rajat Sharma and Zee News Limited MD Punit Goenka have been elected Vice Presidents. Discovery Networks Asia Pacific SVP and GM South Asia Rahul Johri has been elected as the treasurer.
Other members re-elected or inducted into the Board are outgoing President and Star India CEO Uday Shankar, Viacom18 CEO Sudhanshu Vats, Bangla Entertainment Director N P Singh, and Asianet Communications MD K. Madhavan.
Besides these, the 12-member board comprise ETV director I. Venkat, Zee Network promoter Jawahar Goel, NDTV executive vice chairperson K V L Narayan Rao and Turner International India South Asia MD Siddharth Jain.
The Board co-opted Doordarshan director general Tripurari Sharan, Disney UTV MD Ronnie Screwvala and Sri Adhikari Bros. promoter Markand Adhikari as directors.
Talking to Indiantelevision after his unanimous election as the IBF president, Man Jit Singh said, "I would continue the work done by my predecessor whether it's the content regulation, Barc (Broadcast Audience Research Council), or digitisation.. There has been a tremendous change in the industry in the last few years and we are also faced with challenges that are critical to the industry."
Singh says his priority as IBF president will be to oversee the successful implementation of Barc and digitisation. He also felt that the self-regulation mechanism designed by the IBF was working well, hinting that there is no need for any sort of government intervention.
Queried about the progress on Barc, Singh said: "We have completed the study on Barc and we will be inviting RFPs (Request for Proposal) for installing meters, data coverage and data analysis. The Barc will ensure there is proper accountability."
The outgoing president Shankar thanked all Members for their support during his two-year term. "Last two years have been very important for the broadcasting industry with new changes and technology being ushered in. I have had the most eventful tenure as President as I witnessed all these changes happening right in front of me, be it DAS or institutionalizing the self-regulating mechanism in the form of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC)," Shankar said.
"It is a moment of change and I would expect that the momentum that we have generated finds a new impetus after my presidency," Shankar said while pledging all support to his successor Singh.
Shankar advised the IBF members to be "well prepared for the implementation of digitisation and plugging the loopholes, if any, before the deadline". This sentiment found echo with the new President Singh, who said: "Digitisation is the biggest challenge that stares at us currently and its timely and phased implementation is of prime concern. With very little time left for implementation, the IBF must take the lead on the issue."
The IBF Board will now comprise three Vice Presidents, instead of one, as had been the practice since the Foundation's inception in 1999. This has primarily been done for dealing with the growing challenges confronting the Industry and for better coordination across different Industry initiatives, be it digitisation, regulatory, fiscal and content-related issues or matters pertaining to the industry as a whole.