afaqs! news bureau

The Hindu to discontinue its Mumbai Edition 

The daily broadsheet has reportedly asked more than 20 journalists in Mumbai to resign

Daily broadsheet headquartered in Chennai, The Hindu has decided to discontinue its Mumbai edition.

A highly placed source in the organisation confirmed the news to afaqs!; "The Mumbai edition of The Hindu in its current form will be discontinued," says the source.  

Adding, "The Hindu will continue to serve the Bombay market through the National Edition. The digital strategy for Bombay will remain the same." 

Since Mumbai will now be a part of the national edition, the number of stories published from that market will decrease and therefore the broadsheet has asked some journalists to resign. If reports are to be believed then the number is more than 20 staffers in Mumbai itself.

Also Read: "Some publications, editorial and business initiatives will cease": India Today Group's Aroon Purie to employees

Print in India is a Rs 29,600 crore industry (2019 calendar - EY) and is estimated to grow to Rs 30,100 crore by the end of 2020. However, the coronavirus outbreak has derailed these projections. Scared Indians especially in metros have unsubscribed from the print edition of newspapers. Though the media companies, World Health Organisation, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting - Government of India made it clear that the newspaper need not be unsubscribed and it does not expose one to COVID, high rise societies banned entry of hawkers. Things have become a little better and the newspaper is again a companion during morning tea across India, but the number is still far from what it used to be pre-COVID.  

This disruption is circulation coupled with the low market activities has resulted in advertisers opting out of long-term deals invoking Force Majeure clause. They did not issue fresh release orders and asked the agencies to park the bus for the time being. Though FMCG, Auto, E-commerce players are heading back to advertising the recovery is yet to gain momentum.

Out of the Rs 30,100 crore, EY estimated advertising to contribute Rs 20,970 crores while Circulation's share was estimated to be around Rs 9,170 crore. It is clear that if advertising spends on Print do not grow faster, more editions will get shelved leaving hundreds of journalists out of job.