Television network and media house NDTV said that it will be considering reduction of its workforce by 25%, the company informed the stock exchanges. The company said that the layoffs were part of NDTV’s turnaround plan for profitability and it will be only focusing on its core business – English and Hindi news channels, NDTV Convergence and the digital teams associated with running the news websites and apps.
The company added that part of the plan was implemented when around 70 staffers were laid off in June as part of its focus to bring mobile journalism. It was reported that camerapersons and supporting staff were laid off as part of the effort.
Meanwhile, in journalist WhatsApp groups, an internal email from newly appointed CEO Suprana Singh was circulated which said that the digital business remains profitable and the company will be launching new products and sites.
It added that severance packages have been organized for affected employees and heads of departments and human resources were helping with finding jobs elsewhere. Meanwhile, the email added that top management has taken a pay cut. “Several verticals that were created around similar functions have been merged and are already working together for increased efficiency. We have a new team handling Sales and Revenue to give us a head-start on our path to profitability,” it read.
Note that MediaNama was unable to verify the authenticity of this email and has written to the company for confirmation as well.
NDTV’s digital business reported profits of Rs 7 crores on revenues of Rs 34 crores for the quarter ended 30th September 2017 (Q2 FY18). However, revenues for the digital business were down quarter-on-quarter (from Rs 38 crores), and 13.3% up from Rs 30 crores last year.
Overall profit was flat QoQ, and 40% up compared with Rs 5 crores of profit in the same quarter last year. EBITDA was Rs 12 crores, 20% higher than the Rs 10 crores reported for the same period last year. This is despite the fact that advertising-supported businesses have shown a slowdown in growth, owing to the impact of a botched GST rollout this quarter. Q3 is typically the best quarter, given that it’s the festive season.
NDTV’s E-commerce wing reported revenues of Rs 4 crores in Q2FY18, up from Rs 3 crores last year, and losses of Rs 1 crores (post-tax). Last year, for the same quarter, the segment had reported losses of Rs 4 crores.
The company had signed a deal to sell Indianroots to Nameh Hotels. Meanwhile, NDTV said that its “website on cars and bikes”, referring to CarAndBike.com, now has over 10 million unique visitors. Note that Autobyte is picking up controlling stake in CarAndBike.com