Television

ABP News Network CEO Ashok Venkatramani departs

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MUMBAI: Even as the week was ending, came another shocking piece of news. Ashok Venkatramani, the CEO of ABP News Network (ANN) had quit and in fact had even served out his notice period with Friday (4 November 2016) being his last day at work.

A hardcore Hindustan Lever professional, Venkatramani was given charge of the network in 2008, when it was a 76:24 per cent joint venture Media Content and Communications Services (MCCS) between West Bengal based print media group ABP and Rupert Murdoch’s Star India.  The joint venture launched three channels Star News, Star Ananda, and Star Majha, in the Hindi, Bengali and Marathi news space.

The two parted ways in 2012 as Star India wanted to focus on its entertainment and sports business under CEO Uday Shankar with ABP buying out the Star India stake. The parting agreement included the dropping of the Star name from the channels.  Something which many thought would be detrimental for the ABP group in revenue terms.

Venkatramani had the responsibility of overseeing the rebranding of the channels to ABP News, ABP Ananda and ABP Majha. And he did that pretty effectively. Revenues not only stayed put, they also grew. Venkatramani, after some struggle with the ministry of information and broadcasting on getting a licence, also launched ABP Sanjha in July 2014. His efforts were recognized at 2016’s indiantelevision.com News Television (NT) Awards this earlier this year and he was inducted into the NT Awards Hall of Fame.

Venkatramani confirmed his departure to indiantelevision.com, saying that he was leaving for newer challenges. And he confirmed that he was being replaced by Atideb Sarkar (the son of ABP editor in chief Arup Sarkar). Not much is known about where Venkatramani is headed, but his deputy and the company’s COO Avinash Pandey appreciated his efforts in a comment to a media portal. As did the ABP managing director and CEO D. D. Purkayastha.

Venkatramani is currently the president and director on the Board of the News Broadcasters Association of India (NBA) and chairs its HR and sales sub-committees. He is also a former director of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation. Ashok is also a member of the Digitization Task Force appointed by the Indian government.

He is is a B. Tech from Bombay and has done his management post graduation from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Harvard Business School.

Also Read:

Murdoch set to exit TV news biz in India

Star, ABP announce divorce; Star News to be ABP News

ABP’s Punjabi channel, Sanjha, finally gets its licence
 

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