Bloomberg TV may cut jobs

Priyanka Pani Manisha Jha Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2013

It seems the bad times are far from over for the electronic media. Several people are losing their jobs as channels go on an ‘austerity’ drive.

After NDTV and Network 18, it is now Bloomberg TV India’s turn. The channel is said to be terminating the services of around 30 employees from its total staff strength of 400.

The management will reportedly be handing out letters by next week, according to sources.   

The workforce of the business news channel, in which Anil Ambani is a strategic investor with an 18 per cent stake, includes journalists, camera crew and personnel in the technical, sales and marketing teams.

Company officials and employees confirmed the lay-offs but were unaware of the details. Several employees told Business Line that they were already looking for new jobs as they feared receiving pink slips at any moment.

Calls and e-mail messages to Bloomberg TV President Sriram Kilambi did not elicit any response.     

According to employees, the channel had cut down on the number of hours of programming a few months back.

It had reduced the number of live shows and bulletins, something NDTV has also done.

 Shift in focus

The day-time programming has shifted towards a slew of prime shows as the channel realised that 24x7 live programming was not economically viable. 

 Recently, the channel has also started getting more international content through its partnership venture Bloomberg LP. This move rendered a lot of staff in different departments redundant, said an employee.

 According to experts, the media industry is going through a rough patch with the economic downturn adversely impacting the advertising sector.

Most companies, particularly those from consumer-related sectors, which account for 33 per cent of advertising spends, have cut their ad budgets.

This has led to massive restructuring within the channels as part of cost cutting measures.

 Sanjeev Hota, Vice-President at broking firm Sharekhan, said the channels have a structure that involves high costs, especially on talent and infrastructure, which includes studios, OB vans, and green rooms.

 A few weeks back, BSE-listed Network18 Media and Investments Ltd, which runs news channels such as CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18 and IBN7, laid off over 500 people across the group. It has also decided to close some ventures, including entertainment portal

 In April this year, NDTV, in a bid to drive profitability, had asked several staff members to relocate to its headquarters in New Delhi. It also closed its office in Mumbai, a move that resulted in several job losses.

Published on August 28, 2013

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