India's Viacom18 shuffles leadership

Kamat moves to COO, remains CEO of Colors

NEW DELHI -- Viacom18 Media, the joint venture between Viacom Inc. and Indian broadcasting group Network18, announced Tuesday the promotion of Rajesh Kamat to the newly created position of COO.

Kamat will continue in his role as CEO of the group's Hindi entertainment channel Colors and will now oversee network functions of Viacom18 while continuing to report to Viacom 18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla.

Launched in July 2008 with Kamat at the helm, Colors quickly registered record ratings in the highly competitive Hindi entertainment genre overtaking long-standing market leader StarPlus, owned by News Corp.'s Star India.

Colors will be launched early this year in the U.S. on the Dish Network branded as “Aapka Colors” (“Your Colors”) targeting the estimated 2.7 million Indian ethnic population.

Viacom18 also runs MTV India, Vh1 India and kids channel Nick.

The management restructuring also sees MTV India GM and senior VP, creative and content, Ashish Patil upped to the newly created position of senior VP, New Ventures and GM - Youth Movies at Viacom18 where he “will work with Kamat on exploring growth opportunities” according to a statement.

MTV India has experimented with its brand of movies aired on the channel, and later distributed on home video, via its banner MTV Fully Faltoo Films (“Faltoo” means Useless in Hindi) which launched with 2006's "Ghoom" ("Turn Around"), a spoof of Bollywood hit "Dhoom" ("Uproar").
Patil's position at MTV will be taken over by newly appointed Vikas Verma who joins from Indian broadcasting group INX Media where he was heading music channel 9XM and supervising content and programming for Hindi entertainment channel 9X.

Meanwhile Colors also announced the launch of the Indian edition of Fox's interactive game show “National Bingo Night,” hosted by actor Abhishek Bachchan, which will go on air January 23 featuring his father, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan as special guest for the launch episode.