Pune Mirror shuts print edition, Mumbai Mirror turns weekly

Media giant Times Group has decided to shut down the print edition of their daily tabloid Pune Mirror and relaunch Mumbai Mirror as a weekly edition.

Credit : Wikimedia Commons

Media giant Times Group has decided to shut down the print edition of their daily tabloid Pune Mirror and relaunch Mumbai Mirror as a weekly edition. However, these will continue to have a digital presence, said a statement issued by the Times on Saturday. The decision came after the Times Group cited the “pandemic, lockdown and an unprecedented economic crisis” primarily stunted the growth of these fairly young brands that were launched 15 years ago. 

The media group stated, “Not only has the newspaper industry been among the hardest-hit in terms of revenues, it has been weighed down by an import duty that has added to newsprint costs. With the long-held hope of a stimulus not materialising and the Indian economy now officially in recession, it is with a heavy heart that the group has decided to cease publication of Mirror in Pune and relaunch Mumbai Mirror as a weekly.”

“It was very shocking news to us, we got to know about it today itself. There was no notice, and we lack clarity about what is going to happen next. These are tough times, and we are now worried about paying our bills, making ends meet,” said a Pune Mirror employee on condition of anonymity.

While Pune Mirror will still have a digital presence as per the statement issued by the Times Group, the employees don’t have any clarity on whether the staff that worked for the Print edition will be retained or not.

"A few days ago, we were informed that we have a much better administration now and that things will be changing for good. But today, out of nowhere, we received this news and I have no idea what to say. The sales of the paper were not affected, nor the circulation was impacted. It is the job of the marketing team to get money to the management. Yet as journalists who devotedly brought content to the table everyday, we are the ones to suffer now," said another employee.

Speaking about the decision, the group’s statement further said, “Following months of discussions and deliberations, we have made this extremely difficult and painful decision to recalibrate our portfolio of publications. We truly value the contribution of our journalists and other staff towards building such a strong brand in a relatively short time, and thank them for their hard work and great effort.”

Following an economic crisis induced by the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown this year, Pune editions of several major newspapers like Hindustan Times, Sakal Times, Sakal, Lokmat, etc. have either been shut down or downsized leaving several journalists and other media persons unemployed.

The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) has expressed shock over the decision of the Times Group. In a statement issued in this regard, the BUJ has demanded that "not a single working-journalist employee of Mumbai Mirror is retrenched because of this re-organisation, and that all the working journalists of the affected publications be absorbed within the Times Group with full continuity of service and other benefits.”

Edit: Updated to include the BUJ’s statement (19:02)