Sunday, January 14, 2007

STAR TV Trivial Pursuit

While rumours will continue to fly about the status of Sameer Nair and Peter Mukerjea in STAR India, there will be no “news” till Paul Aiello, named CEO of STAR TV after Michelle Guthrie quit, comes to Mumbai on Tuesday on a firefighting mission. Don’t expect any official announcements till late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Till then, I thought I’d keep you occupied with some quotable quotes. Here goes.

The first published story on the mess at STAR India that I could find is dated 7 Jan 2003, when said in a 2002 recap story “...Even programming head Sameer Nair's elevation to the chief operating officer's post was seen by some in the media as a move to ease out chief executive Peter Mukerjea …”

The greatest STAR quote of all time can be attributed to Steve Askew, Star TV's Chief Operating Officer, currently on leave, when he said, in March 2006, that “the recent restructuring in India operations does not represent turmoil at the top management.”
“Peter Mukerjea was named the Chief Executive Officer, of STAR Group, India and Sameer Nair as Chief Executive Officer, of STAR Entertainment India, he pointed out, rejecting ''uneducated rumours'' of top-level turmoil.”

Business Today, quoted Peter Mukerjea saying this in September 2002 "Sameer's a great ally, and his biggest strength is his ability to combine people skills with a conscientious approach to work."

In an interview with Subhash Jha, soon after being named CEO, Sameer Nair had this to say:

Q: It is believed that STAR decided to streamline Peter Mukerjea and your areas of activity since the two of you were always at loggerheads.
A: I don't think it's entirely true. There's so much to be done. In order to be efficient and productive we needed to be more focused. When in a company of our size everyone does everything then no one really does anything. (sic)

There must be more gems floating around. If you come across any, please feel free to send it through the comments option.


Vanita Kohli-Khandekar said...

anant, may i suggest that you read a cover story in businessworld on star tv on May 8, 2006. we asked the same questions that your blog has raised, to both the men.

Vanita Kohli-Khandekar

Anant Rangaswami said...

Dear Vanita,

I do remember reading that story, it's just that I didn't have access to it. And I WAS CERTAIN that I'd missed out a few references to the STAR imbroglio, that's why I requested those who knew of them to use the comments option.
Thanks for doing so.
And thanks for noticing pigsandwings!