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Original story: High level sources from Bennett, Coleman and Co, Ltd. (BCCL/Times of India Group) have indicated that the group plans to lay off approximately 5 percent of its staff. The layoffs will be across businesses, including print, radio, Television and Internet, and across functions – whether editorial, finance, marketing or IT. In case of print, Times of India alone employs around 1000 people, so around 45-50 will be laid off. Indiatimes also employs around 900 people. Since morning we’ve heard rumours of between 600-1500 in all being laid off…doesn’t appear to be as bad as rumoured.

The layoffs haven’t begun yet, but pink slips will be handed out soon. We haven’t been able to ascertain what kind of a deal they’ll be getting. 

From a digital media perspective, it’s important to note that both Times Internet Ltd (Indiatimes) and Times Business Solutions Ltd (TBSL) will be impacted. 

We have not been able to confirm whether BCCLs latest television initiative, Economic Times TV (ET-TV) will be put off due to high costs.

The Times of India group is the largest media house in India, with publications including the Times of India, The Economic Times, Navbharat Times, Mumbai Mirror, Maharashtra Times, Bangalore Mirror, radio channels Radio Mirchi, TV channels Zoom nd Times Now, and magazines including Femina and Filmfare. Their online portfolio includes Indiatimes, online remittance business Times of Money, and classifieds businesses Times Jobs, Simply Marry, Magic Bricks. Earlier this year, the Times Group had bought Virgin Radio, which was rebranded as Absolute Radio.

Update: More inputs coming in – from what we’re told, Times Business Solutions Ltd (TBSL), which employs over 1000 people, is among the worst hit by the downturn; there’s a list that’s been prepared for layoffs at Times Jobs, and the number is expected to be upwards of 150.