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Zee Media CEO Alok Agrawal quits to join RIL

MUMBAI: Zee Media Corp (ZMC) CEO Alok Agrawal has quit the company. He will join Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), though his exact role is not known.

Agrawal announced his move on Twitter: “Delighted to share my move to Team #RIL. Thank you Team @ZeeNews.” He refused to divulge any more details about his new assignment.

A BTech from IIT Kanpur, MBA from IIM Bangalore and MDP in Social Media Marketing from Wharton Business School, Agrawal had joined ZMC in October 2012 replacing Barun Das. Prior to ZMC, he was the chief operating officer (COO) of Cheil Worldwide India.

Close on the heels of his appointment, Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra made a high profile hire in Bhaskar Das, an old Times Group hand credited for swelling the ad revenue coffers of the print media corporation. Das was brought in as Group CEO of ZMC (earlier Zee News Ltd) and web portal, a joint venture between ZEEL and American digital media company PMC.

During his tenure, Agrawal oversaw the launch of many state-specific news channels like Zee Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh, Zee Marudhara, Zee Purvaiya, and Zee Kalinga, with the last three based on TEN (Terrestrial Entertainment Network) format. He also led the rebranding of Zee Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand as Zee Sangam.

Meanwhile, Agrawal’s appointment has heightened the suspense over RIL’s media ambitions. This is the third major hire by the company in the recent past. Earlier, Gautam Chikermane had joined RIL as New Media Director while BV Rao was appointed as the News and Communication Director.

As is widely known, RIL subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm plans to launch 4G services with a major thrust on value-added services (VAS) like live TV and video-on-demand.