As UTV Stars goes Bindass, 80+ staff laid off

15 May,2014

By Shobhana Nair

 

Last fornight, Disney India announced its first big move since the exit of founder-CEO Ronnie Screwvala. UTV Stars, which was launched with much fanfare in August 2011, was going to adopt the Bindass branding.

 

However, while one expected it to be a minor rationalisation of resources, reports received by MxMIndia indicate that a sizeable part of the production team – including show producers, reporters, cameramen and editors have been given the pink slips earlier this month. Around 80 employees are currently serving a month’s notice and will be given salaries for three months’ towards their full-and-final settlement.

 

Interestingly, UTV Stars was the only channel from the stable (other than the business channel which the group once owned) with a strong inhouse production unit. While the channel has a reasonable viewership given the nature of its offering and some of its shows have a fair following, what didn’t work for it was the fitment in the larger scheme of Disney India.

 

The new Bindass-branded channel is scheduled to be launched in October this year with fresh packaging, content and a brand name. Sources say the company is mulling a music channel, given the opportunities in that space.

 

The spokesperson from Disney India was unavailable for comment.

 

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