Kolkata-based Anandabazar Patrika Group, publishers of the ‘Anandabazar Patrika’ and ‘The Telegraph’, will downsize staff by as much as 40 percent, reports The Quint.
The mass layoff is to affect both journalists and non-journalists.
An internal memo to journalists came as the first acknowledgment of the planned retrenchment, says the report, which The Quint says was written by a ‘senior Kolkata-based journalist who chose to remain anonymous.’
The notice informs that the journalists, whose services would no longer be required, would continue to get an amount equivalent to the basic pay at the present rate till the time of his or her retirement would have been due.
The notice made it clear that all journalists who are under the wage board will have to accept the company’s offer and will have to complete the formalities by Jan 15.
Department chiefs have reportedly been given verbal instructions to prepare a list of 50 percent of employees who could be laid off.
A senior journalist was quoted as saying: “It will be difficult to absorb such a large number of media persons in the industry. The problem will be more acute in West Bengal, where both the print and TV journalism are suffering from stagnancy for quite some time.”
The downsizing comes only months after Aveek Sarkar stepped down as editor-in-chief of Anandabazar Patrika and The Telegraph.
Insiders say the layoffs have been triggered off by sharp decline in revenue.
The media group was hit hard by the state government withdrawing advertisements due to conflict with the ruling Trinamool Congress and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The company has also decided to trim the number of pages of Anandabazar Patrika and The Telegraph and cancel certain supplements, the report said.