About two years after joining Z Living, CEO and general manager Rafe Oller is leaving the lifestyle network, the company said Tuesday. Rajeev Kheror, a senior executive at the network’s parent Zee Entertainment Enterprises, was named president of the network. Kheror, who previously served as Zee Entertainment's president of strategy and planning of international business, will operate out of the network's Los Angeles headquarters.
According to the company, Oller is leaving the network to pursue a new venture. He could not be reached for comment. Z Living said a search is currently underway for a new CEO and general manager.
Oller joined Z Living in 2015 and under his watch the network launched several original series like Finding Fido (produced by 3 Ball Entertainment); Altar’d (produced by Bodega Pictures); The Big Fat Truth (produced by 3 Ball Entertainment); Yoga Girls (produced by Charlie Ebersol’s The Company) and Popsugar Presents Conquered (produced by Popsugar Studios). He also helped grow distribution, forging deals with AT&T U-verse, Dish and Verizon FiOS and secured strategic partnerships with Popsugar and SheKnows.
The channel has struggled in the past, rocked by a series of personnel issues prior to Oller's tenure, including a discrimination lawsuit filed against the network, executive departures and layoffs in its New York offices.
Z Living began carrying Sony-distributed syndicated series The Dr. Oz Show in September, and based on its success said it will increase its focus on programming reflecting healthy lifestyles. EVP and head of programming Tim Krubsack will continue to lead the network’s programming strategy.
“Z Living made great strides in the last several years, and we thank Rafe Oller for his leadership in elevating the network’s original programming and marketing strategies,” Zee Entertainment Enterprises broadcast business CEO Amit Goenka said in a statement. “Now, as Z Living enters its next chapter, we have great faith in the vision of Rajeev Kheror to further the network’s commitment to programming dedicated to healthy living, and to broadening its reach in the US and globally.”
According to the company, Z Living has significantly boosted its ratings -- total day audience increased by about 82% in January through November – and its prime audience increased by more than 144%. October was its highest rated month ever, both in Total and Prime, and the network predicts Q4 trending to be the highest rated quarter in network history.
“Across the world, we see significant and growing interest in healthy lifestyle content, something that is culturally transcendent, which is especially relevant in this complex and ever-evolving marketplace,” Kheror said in a statement. “I look forward to helping bring a global perspective to Z Living as we refine our content strategy, and build our distribution in 2018 and beyond.”