In the new financial year, HT Media is expected to bring out a couple of fresh editions of Hindustan Times, their flagship English-language daily. At this stage, exchange4media can confirm that one of the cities on HT’s radar is Pune. An insider confirmed that while HT hasn’t made sufficient progress to be “in a position to announce anything,” the newspaper was indeed evaluating the “options of geographies”.
Earlier this year in January, HT embarked on a cost-cutting drive to give the organisation a leaner structure. “In order to sharpen our focus on strengthening our prime Hindustan Times editions – Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Patna, it has been decided to shelve some of our other editions – Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore and Ranchi till such time in future that we consider reviving them,” informed Sharad Saxena, executive director – operations & HR, in a letter to HT’s employees.
Besides the editions named above, HT also ceased operations in the cities of Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi from January 10. Following the demonetisation of high currency notes, HT Media CEO Rajiv Verma had warned employees “to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best” as demonetisation “had crashed an already declining market” with the future being uncertain.
Later, during an earnings call held on January 24, HT’s chief financial officer Piyush Gupta clarified that the company had initiated the cost-rationalisation exercise much before demonetisation happened. It was also indicated that HT was not yet completely done with reducing the costs involved in its print business. After having shut down multiple editions, some of which HT claims were loss-making, the industry will keenly await the disclosure of the names of the markets in which Hindustan Times decides to set afoot. Apart from its prime editions, HT has an edition dedicated to Jaipur, Gurgaon and Noida.