Navin Kumar appointed interim CEO of Prasar Bharati

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan director-general Navin Kumar will be the interim CEO of Prasar Bharati till a selection panel zeroes down on a full time candidate for the post being vacated by KS Sarma.

Sarma served as the CEO of Prasar Bharati, which manages DD and All India Radio, from March 2002 to June 2006. Kumar's appointment too would be a short one as the government official is slated to revert to his home cadre in August after a stint in New Delhi.

As Kumar will be functioning as the CEO of Prasar Bharati, senior-most deputy director-general, LD Mandloi, will be the acting DG of Doordarshan.

Interestingly, before Sarma took over the reins at Prasar Bharati, the then additional secretary in the I&B ministry, Anil Baijal, served as the acting CEO for about 18 months.Chief executive of the publicly funded Prasar Bharati is chosen by a panel headed by the Vice-President of India and comprising the chairman of the Press Council of India and a government nominee.

Sarma's over four-year term had its ups and downs, but he is credited with successfully launching DD's subscription-free DTH service DD Direct+, and steering Prasar Bharati's annual revenues to over Rs 10 billion for the first time in FY06 ended March 2006.

It was also during Sarma's tenure that DD News was relaunched and an in-house marketing team set up to market programmes aired on DD and AIR instead of outsourcing the activity, which, more often than not, ran into legal problems.

Though Sarma would not like to take much credit for it, but he is said to have successfully lobbied with the ministry to bring about changes in sports broadcasting, which resulted in the downlink law being formulated that makes it mandatory for private broadcasters to share feeds of listed events with the pubcaster.

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