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Turner takes full control of Imagine TV as CEO Sameer Nair Quits

Sunny Saha, SVP & GM, TBSAP takes interim charge as Turner aims to improve the channel's overall performance.

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 9, 2011

Turner General Entertainment Networks (TGEN) has announced that its Chief Executive Officer Sameer Nair will be leaving, as it prepares to fully integrate the Imagine operations into

Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific (TBSAP).

On the development, Steve Marcopoto, President, TBSAP said, “While Imagine has enjoyed some significant successes in distinctive programming and built a solid audience base for a young channel in an extremely competitive genre, we need to improve the channel's overall performance and best position it for sustainable long term growth. Sameer and I agree that the best way to achieve this end is for him to move on and merge the TGEN networks to operate within the entertainment division of TBSAP. I want to express my sincere gratitude for all that Sameer has done to create Imagine, develop a great team, and provide us the opportunity to compete in the Hindi GE space.”

Sameer Nair said, “It's been an incredible entrepreneurial experience for me these past four years, building brand and team Imagine and competing in the marketplace. I leave behind a great team with great ideas in safe hands and wish Imagine every success in future as I pursue new challenges.”

Imagine will be placed under the interim management of Sunny Saha, SVP & GM for the entertainment networks of TBSAP, and the Turner India management team with transitional support from Sameer in the coming months.

Imagine TV was established by NDTV Group under the stewardship of former STAR India CEO Sameer Nair. The channel, was launched in India on January 21, 2008 as NDTV Imagine. Imagine TV has tied up with Karan Johar, who is the creative consultant and ambassador of the Imagine TV brand.

On 8 December 2009, it was announced that Turner Asia Pacific Ventures (a wholly owned subsidiary Turner Broadcasting System) had acquired a 92 per cent stake in NDTV Imagine Ltd. NDTV’s 76 per cent stake in NDTV Imagine would be given to Turner for $67 million, the Time Warner company would acquire fresh equity worth $50 million to get 92 per cent control. NDTV Imagine Ltd. runs NDTV Imagine, NDTV Lumiere and NDTV Imagine Showbiz television channels and film production and distribution company, NDTV Imagine Film Co. The purchase received approval from the Time Warner board on 17 December 2009. At the end of the $126.5 million deal, Turner holds 92% in NDTV Imagine Ltd. while 3.2% is retained by NDTV Networks and the remaining 4.8% is held by its chief executive officer Sameer Nair and other Imagine employees. In December 2009, Online and mobile video service join hand with NDTV Imagine for procuring the on-going and past TV shows.

NDTV announced on 24 February 2010 that it had received all the regulatory approvals and the transaction has been concluded on 23 February by transfer of shares, amounting to 85.68 per cent of NDTV Imagine Ltd, by NDTV Networks Plc to Turner Asia Pacific Ventures. The three channels were operating under Turner General Entertainment Networks, a holding company that was responsible to infuse fresh capital to fund the network's growth. The 'NDTV' brand was drop out and the channels were labelled Imagine TV, Lumiere Movies and Imagine Showbiz.

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