On Wednesday, news filtered in that Hindustan Times had let go of around 130 plus employees in a sudden spurt. Insiders suggest that firings have been across the board including sales, marketing and editorial. The insiders also mentioned that the Patna and Pune editions were closing down.
Another report that the Anand Bazaar Patrika Group has closed all its offices except for the one in Kolkata has surfaced. The Telegraph has shut its operations in Jharkhand and the Northeast and consequently laid off more than 35 staffers. "The decision has affected the paper’s Guwahati bureau in Assam, and the Jamshedpur and Ranchi bureaus in Jharkhand. Dozens of freelancers and contributors associated with the Telegraph in the two regions have also been affected," a Newslaundry report said.
If these reports are true, then Hindustan Times and ABP Group become two of the five big organisations to lay off its employees during the lockdown.
Media organisations such as The Times of India, News Nation and The Quint have laid off employees despite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking public and private employers not to lay off their workers or cut their salaries. Sources have also said that ET Panache and Bombay Times are all set to merge and that ET Panache has asked its 50% staff to go on leave
Insiders even mentioned that besides layoffs, The Times of India had even announced significant pay cuts for its employees. One insider said that they expected further pay cuts to take place.
News Nation Network has laid off its entire English digital team of 15. They were not given termination notice or allowed to serve their notice period, said the sacked staffers.
The Quint is reported to have asked nearly half its staff to go on a leave without pay.
"In these circumstances, it is clear that our revenues will be under severe strain over the next 3-4 months, at least. During this time, The Quint’s primary objectives should be: a) For everybody to stay healthy. b) For our young operation to survive this period and live to fight another day. That can happen if we take emergency actions, measures only used in the ‘rarest of rare’ situations, measures that may constrain us all, but may also help us stay afloat at a time like this," Quint's Editor-in-Chief Raghav Bahl said.
News Nation Network, too, laid off its entire English digital team of 15. They were not given termination notice or allowed to serve their notice period, said the sacked staffers.
“The company is going through a financial crisis due to the pandemic so we have to do this,” said editor-in-chief, Manoj Gairola to a sacked employee, reported Newslaundary.