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Coronavirus outbreak: Hindustan Times to merge weekend supplement with main book to reduce manual intervention

India’s leading newspaper group has decided to reduce the number of hands that touch the newspaper during its production. In conversation with, Rajan Bhalla, Chief Business Officer and Group CMO, HT Media, shares the media group’s strategy to minimise the impact of Covid-19

The Hindustan Times has decided to merge the weekend supplement into the main book for the next three to four weeks to reduce manual intervention at the already automated plants.

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In a conversation with, Rajan Bhalla, Chief Business Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, HT Media, said the newspaper isn’t shutting and removing any offering but is merging the supplement HT Weekend into the main book.

Bhalla said the step is being taken to reduce manual intervention in the newspaper production process so that the operations could be run smoothly with minimum staff present during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

He also said the publication is sanitising all its plants regularly. “All the plants are being sanitised and attempts are being made to avoid manual intervention,” he said.

The media group is also ensuring that its vendors are also safe. “Vendors at all the places are being discouraged from allowing delivery boys who are unwell to operate and are being equipped with sanitisers,” he added.

HT Media, that publishes Hindustan Times, Mint and Hindi Hindustan, has given its journalists the option to work from home. Only the news desks and design teams are functioning from the offices. 

Bhalla quoted WHO guidelines that said packages are not carriers of the virus.

“You can visit the WHO website and see the guidelines where they have stated that packages are not the carriers of the virus. New York Times had also published the same WHO guidelines on its front page that newspapers are not the carriers of coronavirus,” he said

The ongoing coronavirus crisis is likely to have a major impact on the world economy and a lot of brands are likely to cut their advertising budgets.

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