Confirmed: STAR UK to report to STAR India

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


Details of STAR’s new restructure have come to light today, with STAR UK’s operating team reporting directly to STAR India henceforth.

Previously STAR UK/Europe reported to STAR’s Hong Kong offices but will change to better align the business of all international STAR branded channels.

Its been announced today that STAR India, STAR Greater China and Fox International Channels will hold leading positions in their target markets in the new structure.

As revealed on earlier, Uday Shankar, Chief Executive Officer of STAR India since April 2007, will now report directly to James Murdoch. In addition, he will oversee STAR�۪s sales and distribution offices in the UK, US and Middle East.

According to Exchange4Media, STAR India will also manage sales and distribution of News Corporation channels in India ��� a total of 19 channels in eight languages. In addition, STAR India will manage News Corporation�۪s interests in seven ventures including DTH operator Tata Sky, Cable system Hathway, channel distributor STAR Den, news channel operator MCCS, south Indian broadcast business of Asianet channels and STAR Vijay, film producer and distributor Fox STAR Studios India and STAR CJ Home Shopping.

In a prepared statement, James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation, said, “Since launching with only five channels in 1991, STAR has grown in scale and made a valuable contribution to broadcasting in Asia. We are now reshaping a big, regional organization into three highly focused business units, each of which will be intensely competitive in its target marketplace. While it was once natural to have a larger, regional headquarters, the Company has now reached a scale in its key local markets where we are ready to empower the teams on the ground and move a number of functions to be closer to viewers.”

As part of the restructure, Paul Aiello, Chief Executive Officer of STAR, will leave the Company. Aiello will stay to the end of December to ensure a smooth transition. Murdoch said, “It is with much regret that I accept Paul�۪s decision to leave the organisation to pursue other interests and I wish him well. Paul has played an important leadership role in building local teams and driving STAR�۪s growth, particularly in India where we have expanded our broadcast footprint nationally and launched new ventures including film production and distribution. I thank him for his contribution.�۝

Aiello said, “I feel privileged to have worked at News Corp and STAR and I would like to thank all of my colleagues and partners. I am confident that, under James�۪s leadership, the reorganisation will enable the businesses to take advantage of new opportunities for growth as they enter this new stage in their development.”