Media house NDTV on Tuesday said it was considering reduction in the workforce by up to 25% as part of internal restructuring exercise to focus on the core business.
"Given our reprioritisation, our workforce has to be altered too -- over next month, we are considering reduction of workforce by up to 25%. We thank these departing employees for their hard work and contribution," NDTV said in a regulatory filing.
NDTV said it had initiated a turnaround plan to bring down costs and improve profitability.
"A part of this plan was implemented in the last quarter and included our much-noted move to new technologies including mobile journalism," it added.
NDTV said the strategy it is adopting "calls for a leaner operation which will feed only our core business: our English and Hindi news channels and NDTV Convergence and its digital teams that run news and other app websites".
"This means minimising all ancillary businesses that NDTV has expanded into over the last few years," it added.
In July, Outlook first reported that NDTV had fired several employees across the country. While some in the editorial staff say that the TV channel was shifting to MoJo (mobile Journalism), other sources said that the company was facing some "financial stress".
This comes close on the heels of a very public controversy around an income tax assessment of NDTV. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) recently passed a ruling on an appeal by both NDTV and the income tax authorities on what the media house calls “a case related to the investment of $150 million in 2008 by GE/NBCU”.
However, the NDTV in its statement has denied the influence of 'court cases' in its 'restructing of business resources'. "The court cases that are an attempt to punish NDTV for its award-winning objective journalism do not influence how we run and operate our newsroom. The emphasis on restructuring is rooted in the broader financial climate, our commitment to controlling costs (our financial statements are available on our site) and, most importantly, our move to consolidate on our core business - quality news content," said a statement.
NDTV has also been exiting from non core business verticals. In September, its shareholders had approved sale of its automobile e-commerce firm Fifth Gear Ventures to Autobyte Pvt Ltd. It owned and operated automobile e-commerce portal carandbike.Com.
In June, they had approved the sale of its Indian wear e-commerce firm NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd to Nameh Hotels & Resorts Pvt Ltd.
For the quarter ended June 30, 2017, NDTV reported a net loss of Rs 22.01 crore as against net loss of Rs 44.55 crore in the year-ago period.
Shares of NDTV were trading 1.10% higher at Rs 46 on BSE.
(With PTI inputs)
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