New Delhi Television (NDTV) is planning to revamp channel NDTV Profit, its ailing English business news. It would also cut costs by shifting the production control room from Mumbai to New Delhi.
About 50 of the company's employees have been asked to shift to Delhi or given options.
Vikram Chandra, Chief Executive of NDTV, said, "We are in process of revamping and relaunching NDTV Profit. While we will retain business as the core DNA of the channel, there will be new and exciting shows in the evenings. We are in the process of commissioning the programmes and it would take two to three months from now.”
Four years ago, NDTV had shifted NDTV Profit's production control room to Mumbai. However, higher costs and tough competition in the business genre had hit the channel's profitability. "When Profit was launched, it was the second channel in that space; this made sense for the group. However, now there are six business news channels---four in English and two in Hindi. It has become too crowded and making money is extremely difficult," said an analyst tracking the media sector.
Chandra said the company wasn't asking its employees to quit. "There are a number of people who will not be required in their present roles. So, we are giving them options of either shifting to Delhi or to some other roles within or outside the organisation."
"NDTV's employee cost is about 30 per cent of its revenue, which is too high. Additionally, there are distribution and carriage challenges in the sector. The move (shifting the production control room) might be one of the many of the cost-rationalisation steps the company would have to take," said the media analyst.
Last year, NDTV had said it was open to selling stake in NDTV Profit to a strategic investor to streamline its financial resources and expand in a tough economic environment. It had mandated Ernst & Young to restructure operations and propose cost-cutting measures. In September 2012, it had laid off about 50 employees from the channel.