Hindustan Media Ventures Limited has appointed Shamit Bhartia as its Managing Director for a period of five years. The decision was arrived at a meeting of board of directors held on February 4. HMVL informed NSE of the same adding that the appointment will be subject to the approval of shareholders. The company is the publisher of Hindustan and handles other Hindi businesses which it acquired from HT Media in 2009.
Earlier, as per a filing with NSE on February 1, Shamit Bhartia had relinquished the responsibility of the Joint Managing Director at HT Media Limited. “We have to inform you that Shri Shamit Bhartia, Joint Managing Director of the company, has relinquished the office of Joint Managing Director with effect from 31st January, 2017. Shri Shamit Bhartia will, however continue as a Non-Executive Director of the company,” HT Media Limited told NSE.
Shamit Bhartia is the son of HT Media’s Chairperson and Editorial Director, Shobhana Bhartia. It is noteworthy to mention that the company has been at the centre of quite a churn post-demonetisation. Embracing for a “digital future”, the company shut down its Bhopal, Indore, Kolkata and Ranchi editions earlier in the year. It also ceased operations in Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi besides discontinuing its business bureau in New Delhi and Mumbai.
Announcing its Q3 results for the period ended December 31, 2016, Shobhana Bhartia noted, “While the quarter started on a good note with the festival season, the subsequent short-term economic dip affected sentiment and media spends, which impacted advertising revenue for our English and Hindi print businesses.” She, however, added that the radio business of the multimedia empire was “seeing good traction” and they were set to “hone our digital strategy”.
“We are also constantly challenging ourselves to innovate and do things efficiently with leaner cost structures,” she stated. Reporting total revenues for Q3 FY 2017 at Rs 7,048 million, the company acknowledged a dip of advertising revenue by 5.7% when compared with Q3 FY 2016. On the other hand, the circulation revenue grew by 2.1% for the corresponding period.
As part of its “strategic focus”, HT Media will seek to “regain revenue growth in print business” in the post-demonetisation phase. The company is also keen to increase further revenues via its digital offerings. For Q3 FY 2017, revenue growth from digital content and Shine.com stood at 21% and 29%, respectively.