As per several media reports, Hindustan Times is also set to close down multiple editions, including Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhopal and Indore. It is learnt that the No. 2 English daily of the country has already discontinued all these four editions starting Monday, January 9.
This implies that the fate of the journalists who were part of these editions is still uncertain.
In addition, the newspaper has apparently closed down three bureaus in UP — Allahabad, Varanasi and Kanpur. This is indeed a surprising move as the UP elections are just a few months away.
Last week, the English daily discontinued its business bureau in Delhi and Mumbai and the same was syndicated to its business daily, Mint. It is learnt that the retrenched journalists were given a severance package of two months.
In a circular disseminated to its employees, HT said, “Post our major investments into a digital future and creation of an ultra-modern and hi-tech newsroom in Delhi, backed by an enormous effort to culturally transform our ways of meeting the changing consumption trends, we are now shifting gears to move towards an accelerated digital trajectory.”
The retrenchment follows a cost-cutting advice by the Boston Consulting Group.
This is yet another case of the newspaper business apparently getting hit by demonetisation. Last month, Kolkata-based Ananda Bazaar Patrika reduced its staff by 40 per cent following the advice of a consultant, Hey Consultancy.
Even BCCL’s leading dailies—The Times of India and The Economic Times—have announced a freeze in hiring, and hinted low increments.