NDTV to lay off 25% of workforce in one month

NDTV said it has decided to fire up to 25% of its workforce over the next one month to focus more and more on its core news business.

The fired employees are currently engaged with the company’s non-core operations.

“As intimated earlier to the exchanges, NDTV Group had initiated a turnaround plan to bring down cost and improve profitability,” it said.

“The strategy we are adopting calls for a far leaner operation which will feed only our core business: our English and Hindi news channels, and NDTV Convergence and its digital teams that run our news and other apps and websites,” it said.

“This means minimizing all ancillary businesses that NDTV had expanded into over the last few years. Given our repriortization, our workforce has to be altered too — over the next one month, we are considering reduction of workforce up to 25%. We thank these departming employees for their contribution and hardwork,” NDTV said.

The latest move is related to efforts to shore up the margins at the company that has never quite recovered from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

The company had expanded into entertainment channels and several other businesses that were not directly related to news under the assumption that it has to be diversified to remain viable.

To recover, it has also been aggressively cutting costs in recent months.

Separately, NDTV reporters now shoot their videos and interviews using their mobile phones instead of using a camera man and a full sized camera. These are then sent using 4G networks instead of relying on satellite uploads.

It said the transition to ‘mobile journalism’ has been smooth.

“A part of this (turnaround) plan was implemented in the last quarter and included our much-noted move to new technologies including to mobile journalism. Our reporters across the country are now using mobile phones for the fastest and most efficient delivery of breaking news,” it said.

The network was founded by Prannoy Roy, arguably the father of private sector English language news business in India.

The media sector in India has been hit by a drying up of advertising budgets and the reallocation of funds towards digital, which has grown to rival the traditional media — print and broadcast — in terms of revenue.

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