NDTV is considering firing up to 25% of its employees

 BusinessToday.in   New Delhi     Last Updated: December 19, 2017  | 18:10 IST
NDTV is considering firing up to 25% of its workforce
The picture for representational purpose only

The year that began with a flurry of pink slips in the media industry - hundreds of journalists were fired by the likes of Hindustan Times, Anand Bazaar Patrika (ABP) group, The Telegraph and NDTV - seems to be ending on the similar note as NDTV Media House has again decided to trim its workforce by up to 25 per cent. NDTV said on Tuesday it was considering a second wave of layoffs - this time by up to 25% of its workforce - as part of an internal restructuring exercise.

By its own admission, the company's new strategy is to focus on its core business - the English and Hindi news channels, NDTV Convergence and its digital teams. "This means minimising all ancillary businesses that NDTV has expanded into over the last few years," NDTV said in a regulatory filing, adding that, "Given our reprioritisation, our workforce has to be altered too. Over next month, we are considering reduction of workforce by up to 25%. We thank these departing employees for their hard work and contribution."

The media company founded in 1988 by husband-wife duo Prannoy and Radhika Roy said these measures were part of a turnaround plan to bring down costs and improve profitability. "A part of this plan was implemented in the last quarter and included our much-noted move to new technologies, including mobile journalism," it added. This evolution also involved firing over 100 employees in July this year. The layoffs, incidentally, had followed CBI raids on the offices and homes of the owners following allegations of defrauding ICICI Bank of Rs 48 crore. Making matters worse, the media company has recorded consecutive losses of about Rs 216 million in 2016.

This explains why NDTV has already started exiting from its non-core business verticals. In September, its shareholders approved the sale of its automobile e-commerce firm Fifth Gear Ventures, which owned and operated popular portal carandbike.com, to Autobyte Pvt Ltd. Three months before that, they approved the sale of its Indian wear e-commerce firm NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd to Nameh Hotels & Resorts. In the meantime, NDTV share prices, which had suddenly picked up pace on Monday, are down from the opening price of Rs 47.85 to Rs 45 at 3.30pm.

 

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