CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz unify for good

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | November 23, 2009
This move is aimed at curbing costs, which will result in cost savings of Rs 65 crore annually

Network18, the media empire, has decided to reconstitute the business strategy for Television18, which comes under the flagship group. TV18, as is widely known, operates two channels -- CNBC TV18, the English business news channel, and CNBC Awaaz, the Hindi business news channel.

The media conglomerate has announced that it would combine both the channels in the logistics, back-end and broadcasting departments. However, it is understood that both the channels would continue to maintain their distinct identities. Incidentally, CNBC TV18 is in its tenth year of operations, while CNBC Awaaz is in its fifth year.

This move follows the commitment under the TV18 rights offer to shareholders, viz. the repayment of more than Rs 300 crore of debt. The savings on interest and operational costs will lead to total reduction of approximately Rs 65 crore in annual costs.

With this move, TV18 will have the advantage of eight business bureaus and two broadcast hubs, namely Mumbai and Delhi. The company expects to optimize approximately 20 per cent in annual operating costs via this restructuring.

Haresh Chawla, Group CEO of Network18, says in a statement released to the media, "CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz have their distinct positions in the English and Hindi speaking markets, respectively. We believe that further growth and profitability will come from the combination of the two brands, strengthening TV18 in operating as well as financial terms."

This move is expected to realize significant cost synergies between the operations. About 12 per cent permanent positions in the company would be rendered surplus, the communiqué states. This one-time restructuring charge in the current quarter is expected to result in savings from the next quarter.

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