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Sameer Nair joins Balaji Telefilms as Group CEO

MUMBAI: Sameer Nair, the man who turned around Star Plus and made it the No. 1 channel in the Hindi general entertainment space by bringing in Amitabh Bachchan for the first time on television (via ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’), has joined Balaji Telefilms as its group CEO.

As part of the turnaround strategy, Nair had introduced the ‘saas-bahu’ sagas produced by the Ekta Kapoor-led Balaji Telefilms. Star Plus’ primetime rule was led by KBC and Balaji Telefilms’ three ‘K’ daily soap operas.

Nair, who had joined Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in October last year, took up the role at Balaji Telefilms on Tuesday. In his new role, he will head the company and all its subsidiaries. Balaji Telefilms did not have a group CEO since Punit Kinra’s exit in June 2012.

Nair, who had a successful 12-year stint at Star India, had quit as CEO of Star Entertainment India in 2006 to join NDTV Imagine as its CEO. The NDTV-NBC JV launched Hindi GEC NDTV Imagine with much aplomb. However, NDTV Imagine could not perform well.

Eventually, NDTV bought back NBCU’s 26 per cent stake in the JV and sold the channel to Turner International. However, that did not change the fortunes of the channel and Nair bid adieu to the network in 2011. Later, Turner decided to pull the plug on NDTV Imagine.

Nair, who is considered as one of the sharpest TV executives, is once again teaming up with Ekta Kapoor.