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Pay cuts hit NewsX
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NEW DELHI: Two months after the purchase, the new owners of English general news channel NewsX have started the painful exercise of cutting salaries as they support a staff strength of over 400 people.

Sketching out a turnaround plan, the Vinay Chajjlani-Jehangir Pocha duo have unveiled a slab-structured pay cut policy that insiders say would shave off 10 per cent of the employee costs.

The first scramble was to pin down the "non-people-related" costs. But more corrective measures needed to be taken to keep losses at check even as the news channel struggles to garner ratings and advertising revenues.

"We have already taken many measures to reduce the channel's rather bloated cost structure. However, the degree to which News X's cost structure is out of sync with reality and increasing severity of the downturn have forced us to make the difficult decision to reduce the compensation of all employees and contractors," Jehangir Pocha wrote in an email to the NewsX employees.

The cuts vary from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, depending on the salary structure. For those earning less than 50,000, there will be no cuts.

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"I know it is hard to face pay cuts when so many of you have been working with commitment and passion to build this channel. But I know you also realise it is not really us who are making the decision but the economy. It is setting new rules for business and survival in a market economy means listening to what the market says," Pocha wrote.

NewsX was bought out by Indi Media, a newly formed joint venture between NaiDunia promoter Chhajlani and former Businessworld editor Pocha.

Most media outfits have announced salary freezes and cuts to tide over a slowdown in the economy.

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