Mass sack, resignations at TVC

• Only 10 were disengaged, says official
Anxiety and fear have gripped staff of one of Nigeria’s biggest independent media outfit, Continental Broadcasting Service Nigeria Ltd., owners of TV Continental, TVC Entertainment and Radio Continental, as the broadcast outfit is reported to have begun massive job cuts following the current economic crunch in the country .

Sources within the organization told MARKETING EDGE that the organization was forced to embark on the sack due to the prevailing financial crisis that has made it impossible for the company to maintain its present workforce.

MARKETING EDGE gathered that some of those affected resigned voluntarily, once they got wind of the impending sack, but majority were asked to go by the company. The downsizing was said to have cut across all the departments in TVC.

Like many other media organisations, TVC has been facing tough times, and has struggled to pay salaries. However, some stakeholders expressed surprise over the mass sack given that TVC benefitted from the massive windfall that resulted from the media campaign of political parties in last year’s elections.

Our source also noted that apart from the economic challenges, which has brought a lot of strain on the company, some workers also blamed the problem on the inability of the management of TVC to run a more prudent system that could withstand crisis.

When MARKETING EDGE contacted one of the top managers of the organization who did not want his name in print, he denied that the firm sacked over 200 people and insisted that only about 10 people were dismissed for failing to meet up with the company’s standards. He also denied reports that the company was owing staff salaries.

“There was no such thing as mass sack in TVC, only about 10 people were sacked due to the company’s zero tolerance for dereliction of duties. Also, there has been occasional resignation which is normal. And though the company has been stressed due to the economic challenges, we have managed to meet up with or obligations to staff and other stakeholders,” he said.

He also noted that the company has been significantly affected by the forex crisis because some of its major transactions are done in dollar due to the fact that it has offices across the Africa. “So we spend more on forex now; almost double what we used to spend.”

The source who is a top official in TVC’s media unit told MARKETING EDGE that even though the outfit would have loved to sack, but it can’t due to the huge burden of work on its about 600 staff. “So in my view, we are even under-staffed, because we have six different broadcast channels operating here and the staff are not even enough for the load of work in the company,” he said.

Apart from TVC, many other media organisations have been badly affected by the lingering financial crisis in the country since the oil prices began to dip a couple of years back. Recently, over 50 staff of Guardian Newspaper were sacked in an unprecedented rightsizing effort. Also, a major radio station in Lagos was said to have sacked about 150workers in a bid to survive the economic crunch.

Apart from those laying off workers, a large number of the media houses have not been able to pay salaries for months.


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