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Reporter’s Diary: Media hits some turbulence

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Reporter’s Diary: Media hits some turbulence

 That dreaded word for any employee – ‘layoff’ – is doing the rounds again. Memories of the large number of layoffs across industries in the previous slowdown period are still fresh. This week, media was rife with the news of NDTV letting go of 50 of its people as part of what it called a ‘resource rationalisation’ drive.

There are also murmurs of layoffs taking place in TV Today Network, though the top management has refuted such news. It is learnt that the Network has shut down its Bhubaneswar bureau some time back.

The financial woes of Deccan Chronicle are now, well, chronicled in detail across media. The group’s shares fell 24 per cent in three days. Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) promoters have now disclosed to the Registrar of Companies at Hyderabad that they have mortgaged the trademarks of all four of its publications – Deccan Chronicle, The Asian Age, Andhra Bhoomi and Financial Chronicle.

Is this the beginning of the end of Brand Deccan Chronicle as we know it? Will the four trademarks have new owners in case the DCHL promoters default on the payment? Will Deccan’s financial woes find resonance in the media industry?

These are tough times for the economy and with the hike in diesel and LPG prices, consumer sentiment has hit a low. Even as companies resort to ‘resource or cost rationalisation’, households too will be rationalising their spends. Who knows what all will get deleted from their monthly shopping list.

These are turbulent times indeed. While India was able to sail through the previous round of slowdown without too much damage, this time the negative sentiments seem to be taking precedence and layoffs in big media houses like NDTV will only pull down the sentiments further, especially amongst the media fraternity.

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