Tarun Katial, erstwhile executive vice-president, content and communications, STAR India, has joined Sony Entertainment Television as executive vice-president, programming and response. Katial assumed office today and will oversee the channel's creative content, programming and on-air promotions.
A prepared note from the company says that Katial will report to Sunil Lulla, executive vice-president and business head of the channel.
Speaking about the appointment, Kunal Dasgupta, chief executive officer, Sony Entertainment Television Network, says, "Tarun brings with him valuable experience in programming. As a member of Sunil's team, he is tasked with driving Sony Entertainment Television's programming profile and I am sure, he will add enormously to the momentum of the channel."
Lulla, who is Katial's superior at Sony, says, "Tarun's creative drive will further catalyse the channel's process of growth. I do believe we will see significant innovations and breakthrough programming in the year to come."
With the appointment, months of speculation regarding Katial's impending move to Sony comes to an end. Conjecture reached a feverish pitch last month with sporadic reports in the media about Katial's plans to join rival broadcaster Sony. Katial himself maintained a tight-lipped silence throughout his three-month hiatus (he quit STAR in October, 2003), choosing to let the rumour-mongering cease, before he set foot at Sony today.
The company statement, however, has a few words from the man, who has been at the centre of media attention over the last three months. "I am happy to join Sony Entertainment Television and believe it will expand my portfolio of work and creativity. It provides me with a stimulating challenge to create a differentiated product offering and help the brand grow to newer heights," he says.
For the record, the ad and media professional, who began his career with Saatchi & Saatchi, moving subsequently to Enterprise Nexus and O&M, made the all-important switch to television in 1999, when he joined STAR as assistant manager, strategy and planning. He steadily moved up the ranks to finally take charge of STAR India's jewel in the crown and lead general entertainment channel STAR Plus in 2002, when Sameer Nair, his superior and mentor, was promoted as COO of the network.
STAR Plus maintained its stranglehold over C&S homes during Katial's tenure and his exit in October 2003 was a surprise to many in the media world. Now that he has assumed charge at the No 2 general entertainment channel, it is to be seen what this thirty-something television veteran has in store for the network and its audiences. © 2004 agencyfaqs!