Viacom18 confirms Raj Nayak exit. To stay on till Feb 2019

20 Nov,2018

By A Correspondent [updated]


Inarguably one of the most high profile names in the Indian television business, Raj Nayak has decided to move on from Viacom18. He has been Chief Operating Officer from May 2017 after having helmed Hindi General Entertainment Channel Colors as CEO since he joined the joint venture in April 2011. In September 2018, he was entrusted with the responsibility of revenues of the Viacom18 network.

In an official statement released to the media on Tuesday evening, Viacom18 confirmed the departure of  Nayak. Speaking about the development, Sudhanshu Vats – Group CEO and MD Designate, Viacom18 said,: “Raj is one of the most admired leaders in the media and entertainment industry.  While on one hand, it is our loss to see a committed and capable leader leave, on the other, it is reassuring to know that he will always keep Viacom18’s flag flying high. On a personal level, I would like to thank Raj for partnering me as Viacom18 scaled newer heights. On behalf of everyone at Viacom18, I’d like to wish Raj all the very best for his future endeavours.”

Speaking about his journey at Viacom18, Nayak said: “The last seven-and-a-half years at Viacom18 have been most exciting, challenging and rewarding. I have a wonderful team and they helped propel the company to new heights. The Viacom18 leadership has always been supportive and for that, I will always be grateful. These are exciting times for the media industry, the pace of change is remarkable, and I feel energised about the opportunity to do something new in this new landscape.”

Nayak will be serving at Viacom18 till February, 2019.

So where’s he moving to? An entrepreneurial venture yet again or another broadcast network. There have been rumours of his moving to helm Sony Pictures Network, a broadcaster that can do with a refresh in strategy. The top job at Discovery Network has also fallen vacant but the affair with running a Hindi GEC was shortlived. There is also a player like Netflix which is currently without an India head. A lot of this is based on what’s in the air, and we await a confirmation of his resignation from Viacom18 and some indicator of his next steps.

Nayak – LS Nayak being his official name –  joined Viacom18 from Aidem Ventures, an entrepreneurial venture he set up as a media outsourcing and sales consuling firm. Earlier, he was CEO of NDTV Media for over seven year and before that he was Executive VP – Sales and Marketing at Star TV. At Star, where he worked for nearly a decade, he also did a stint at ESPN Star Sport from 1996 to ‘99.

Nayak started his media career in print, having worked with stylish newspapers like Sunday Mail, The Indian Post and The Pioneer. Nayak has helmed various industry bodies and initiatives, the more recent being The Advertising Club where he helped raise the bar on the annual Goafest convention and awards.

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