NDTV editorial director reveals more than intended while defending layoff of 25% staff

Today, in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, TV news channel NDTV claimed that in line with the group’s “turnaround plan”, to bring down costs, the group will now focus on its core businesses of English and Hindi News channels, NDTV Convergence and its digital teams. This was perhaps a candid acceptance of two facts:

a. NDTV’s finances are in trouble, hence a “turnaround plan”, and

b. It wants to move away from non-news related non-core activities, which could include its earlier moves such as its NGT plea to obstruct the ambitious Sagarmala project.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

The release further stated that to suit this leaner plan, NDTV group plans to lay-off around 25% of its workforce. This layoff comes within 6 months of a report  which claimed that the failing channel had fired 70 staffers. The report claimed that while the editorial staff said that the TV channel was shifting to MoJo (Mobile Journalism), other sources told the media house that the company was facing some ‘financial stress’.

Reacting to the news, there were some sarcastic comments on the controversial channel’s fortunes. One such comment by senior journalist J Gopikrishnan caught the eye of Sonia Singh, wife of former Congress Minister R P N Singh, and currently the Editorial Director at NDTV. In a tweet, Sonia Singh claimed that NDTV was paying a “financial cost” of speaking the truth, and is not getting any “official ads”:

This tweet by someone in her position also reveals two facts:

a. Although publicly NDTV might be claiming that the lay-offs are linked to “mobile journalism” etc, the real reason is financial stress, as indicated by sources in an earlier report. Singh all but confirms this.

b. If indeed “official ads” refers to Government ads, then the claim that they have stopped, and this has caused financial stress, meant that NDTV was running on the revenue of such ads for the past few years, including UPA’s tenure.

This claim by Sonia Singh comes just weeks after social media users had outraged over the alleged partnership of NDTV and Niti Aayog. Niti Aayog had rebutted the charge but rather unconvincingly. The claim also does not seem valid at least for the period ending 30th June 2016. As per an RTI reply, The Government of India had paid a whopping Rs 15.33 crores as advertisement expenditure to NDTV and its group companies from 01/05/2014 to 30/06/2016. It is not known if anything had drastically changed since then:

Even if Sonia Singh’s claim is taken at face value, that “official ads” had stopped, it may not be the cost of “speaking the truth” as claimed by her, but may just be the cost of running a channel which has one of the worst TRP ratings in the business.

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is a joint-industry not-for-profit body that publishes weekly TV viewership data for India. As per its latest data for the week ended December 8 2017, NDTV was languishing at the bottom of the charts:

NDTV’s hindi offering NDTV India, which was in the dock for jeopardizing national security, isn’t even in the top 5 Hindi News channels as per the same data. In fact, when the ratings of NDTV English are compared with the Hindi news channels, one realises the abysmal viewership NDTV commands.

From the above, it does not take an Einstein to figure out why advertisers would want to stay away from NDTV. Any advertiser would want it’s messages to reach the widest possible audience. No one would want to advertise on channels which do not command respectable viewership.

Besides this, there is of course the baggage which NDTV brings. NDTV’s anchors conduct debates entirely based on fake news. Its promoters are under the lens of the IT Department for tax fraud. The group itself is under scrutiny of the Income Tax Department for concealing income. It would in fact make sense for any advertiser, especially the Government of India, to stay away from tainted groups like NDTV. For the moment though, it appears Sonia Singh has revealed more than she intended to.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Loans waived by Congress govt in MP, but here are the ‘conditions apply’ that farmers should see

One of the main poll promises in the run-up to 2018 elections was farmer loan waiver. Rahul Gandhi and all Congress leaders harped on farmer loan waiver.

Ghaziabad: Stray dog, mother of five puppies, raped and dragged to death by Nafees and Tauseef

Nafees, one of the accused, has reportedly confessed to the crime of raping the animal several times before dragging her through the streets

‘I was a communist, but I fail to understand how talking about Hindus becomes ‘communal’: Hadiya’s father joins BJP

He said that he was a communist since childhood but of late the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics eyeing minority votes.

PM Modi makes a big announcement: 99% items to soon fall under 18% GST slab or lower

"Today, GST system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position 99% things would attract the sub- 18% slab", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi

No Rajdeep, there is no reason to thank Imran Khan for the homecoming of Hamid Ansari. Here is why

Rajdeep Sardesai has time and again proved himself to be a master of quackery

Read excerpts of Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge led PAC report slamming HAL for delay in projects while Rahul indulged in politicking

PAC, led by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge severely criticised HAL for the delay in projects while Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of 'taking away projects from HAL'

IT magnate Narayana Murthy and ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala root for Modi government in 2019

Narayan Murthy and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala both have praised Modi government’s policies in the last 4.5 years of governance

Hadiya’s father’s fate awaits all Hindus if they don’t wake up to cultural challenges

The denial of the mainstream narrative of Hindu concerns will spiral the country into a hub of communal politics.

Surging India: PM Modi sets up the tone for 2019 campaign? Lists how India has developed a lot since 2014

PM Modi was giving the keynote address at Republic TV summit where he put forward his government's achievements in last four years

After spreading negativity during Diwali, Times Now is in a festive mood during Christmas

Times Now's tweets reflect the general attitude of the Indian elite towards Hindu festivals. While everything negative is associated with Hindu festivals, an aura of celebratory mood is spread on the occasion of Abrahamic festivals.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,825FansLike
98,356FollowersFollow
6,388SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these