Layoffs took place at Web18 last Friday, MediaNama has learned from multiple internal sources, according to whom, the number of layoffs is between 50-70. This is a part of the restructuring exercise taking place at the TV18 group, wherein operations are being synergised between TV and web, with an integrated newsroom approach. As a result, the content teams have been affected the most, sources say. From what we have heard, In.com has been impacted the most, followed by MoneyControl.com, the groups flagship financial portal linked to CNBC-TV18, and the tech portal Tech2. This follows around a week after TV18 is reported to have laid off a significant number of employees from the TV business. The Hoot also reported earlier about layoffs at Network18’s web properties.
Please note that, at the time of writing this post, Web18 CEO Lakshmi Narasimhan, FirstPost CEO Durga Raghunath and IBNLive CEO Rajan Srinivasan were unavailable for comment. When we had previously contacted Narasimhan about Web18 (when TV18 had laid off people), he had asked us to contact Saket Saurabh, GM Corporate Development at Network18. Multiple attempts to contact Saurabh since Friday, have yielded no response. We haven’t heard back from Network18 CEO B. Saikumar and COO Ajay Chacko either.
Editorially, Moneycontrol is being synergized with the TV unit (CNBC-TV18), and the group is not looking for separate reporters for Moneycontrol, three sources said, while two others have said that around 40% of Moneycontrol’s staff has been laid off. Operations of FirstPost and the Network18’s UK based News venture News18, have so far remained unaffected, and from what we hear, are likely to remain unaffected. News18 is the Network18 group’s international news channel, which has so far been launched in the UK.
The ground floor of Web18’s Matunga office is at half its strength now, one source (from that floor) told us. Most of Web18’s operations are in Mumbai, but three people were laid off from IBNLive’s Delhi office on Friday, we’re reliably told.
Severance pay has been offered to executives on the basis of the time they have worked at Web18, and ranges from 1 month to 3 months, a current Web18 employee told MediaNama. Those who have been with the organization for more than five years are believed to have have gotten more than 3 months as severance pay.
Other sources have also said Tech2, the group’s tech publication is being shuttered. Hatim Kantawalla, the Editor of Tech2, declined to confirm or deny this development, and asked us to contact Saurabh, who has been unavailable for comment.
There is a fear that more layoffs are expected this coming Friday, because layoffs at TV18 had taken place the previous Friday, one source said. However, we haven’t been able to confirm whether layoffs ended last week, or will continue, but many people we have spoken with point towards layoffs expected at Infomedia.
Impact on Infomedia18
Several sources have said that Infomedia18, the Network18 groups print business will bear much of the brunt in the coming weeks: that its B2B publications are being shuttered or sold off. The B2C publications will remain: a senior executive told us, on condition of anonymity, that Overdrive and Better Photography are doing well, but it is likely that Chip Magazine will not continue, and the license of T3, another tech publication, will not be renewed.
Note: We’ll update this post in case we hear from Network18