Monday, April 2, 2007

3 INX channels named; core executive team of 9

Nine seems to have a great deal of significance in Indrani and Peter Mukerjea's upcoming television network. Nine people make up the core team that will be at the helm of the broadcast venture and the number is integral to the name of all the channels (with the exception of news) INX plans to roll out.

The first three channels in the broadcast bouquet - Hindi general entertainment, music and English news - have been titled 9X, 9X Music and News X respectively and are targeting a year-end launch.

The full bouquet of channels will also include various entertainment channels in regional languages and city-specific channels, all of which are to be rolled out over the next two years.

The top rung in the leadership matrix includes Ms Mukerjea herself, former editor of Hindustan Times Vir Sanghvi as CEO of INX News and editorial head of the news channel, former Star India CFO Shankar Narayan as group director finance, former Star India EVP distribution Arun Mohan as group director distribution, former Star News operations director and Tata Sky project consultant Vynsley Fernandes as group director network operations and ad filmmaker Dilip Ghosh as director content.

A conspicuous absentee from the list is Peter Mukerjea, which is clearly due to the legal limitations imposed by the non-compete clause he has with his former employer Star that runs till 30 June. Assuming that he would ultimately handle the CEO's portfolio.

One huge advantage that INX has going for it of course is that with $ 300 million in funding commitments from the likes of Temasek Holdings (via Dunearn Investments), New Silk Route, New Vernon, Kotak and SREI Group, the network will not lack for resources to translate vision into reality.

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