Network18, India’s most diversified media conglomerate that has grown at a fast pace to become the largest news network of the country today announced a change in its organization structure. During the past three years, the group has undertaken various initiatives towards rebranding and re-organizing its powerful news brands. The most comprehensive brand revamp exercise was to establish News18 as the Number 1 general news brand in the country, way ahead of established names such as Zee, India Today group and ABP, and many times larger than the Times Television Network and other news groups.
In order to further exploit better efficiencies, and achieve even faster growth in future, the media organization has recast the group along three major clusters:
1) English & Business Cluster, which includes CNN-News18, CNBC-TV18, Awaaz and Bajaar, CNBC HD Prime & News18 International
2) Hindi Cluster including News18 India & News18 Hindi regional channels (UP/UK, MP/CG, Rajasthan, Bihar/JK, Urdu & Himachal-Punjab-Haryana)
3) Languages Cluster including all News18 regional channels minus Hindi—TN, Kerala, Kannada, Odisha, Bengal, Assam/NE, Gujarat & News18-Lokmat.
Three key appointments have been made to bolster each cluster and drive it to the next level of operational excellence. Basant Dhawan joins as CEO of the English/Business cluster. An engineer and an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Basant joins Network18 from Star India where he spent the last four years in a variety of roles. His last role was National Agency Business Head for Entertainment Sales in Star India. Basant will be based in Mumbai.
The CEO of the Hindi cluster is Mayank Jain, who will lead the fast-growing News18 India and the cluster of other news channels across various Hindi speaking states. Mayank, who will be based in New Delhi has joined Network18 from Star India's entertainment division. He is an INSEAD alumnus, and has experience in a raft of sectors ranging from telecom and FMCG to financial services across geographies.
Karan Abhishek Singh has joined as CEO for Languages cluster, also from Star India where he managed Integrated Sales for Television and Digital. His last role involved heading pan-India agency relationships. Karan will be based in Bengaluru. He is an alumnus of NMIMS, Mumbai, and has worked in organizations as varied as PepsiCo, Nokia, Godrej Sara Lee, HLL and GE.
The above three will report to Avinash Kaul, Chief Operating Officer of Network18.