The news is not a very good one at NDTV. After effecting a 20 per cent pay cut for its top management and freezing hirings, NDTV is downsizing its staff. This is the fourth round of lay-offs in the group. The first two rounds took place when MertoNation was being downsized, while the third round of lay-offs took place recently in Mumbai, and now it is Delhi’s turn.
Last week, 24 people were laid off in Mumbai from NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. It is understood that these people are getting heavy severance pay from the company and also a surety that they would be called back for new projects.
In the latest round of lay-offs, 11 people have been let go off from NDTV India in Delhi. These people are from the editorial as well as the other wings of the organisation.
exchange4media has been closely monitoring the effects of the slowdown on the media industry and had reported in January 2009 that NDTV was tightening its belt, freezing recruitments and slashing salaries by up to 20 per cent for the top management.
Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman and Director NDTV, had in an internal email sent in early January 2009 talked about tightening belts, increasing productivity and efficiency. This was followed by downsizing of MetroNation and then 10-20 per cent pay-cuts that was conveyed by NDTV Group CEO KVL Narayan Rao.
The MetroNation side of the NDTV business is currently operational only in Delhi. There are plans to launch a Chennai channel, for which a joint venture with The Hindu was formed, besides a channel in Mumbai.
It may be recalled that in January 2009, rumours were afloat about BCCL taking a 26 per cent stake in NDTV MetroNation. On being questioned on the matter at that time, BCCL’s Ravi Dhariwal had said that the speculation was “baseless and untrue”.
Despite repeated attempts, no official from NDTV could be contacted for comments on the latest development.
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