Fever 104 FM, HT Media Ltd’s radio network that was launched in 2006 and is present in four cities–New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata–has broken even, HT Media CEO Rajiv Verma told employees earlier today during a live company-wide video address. Verma said this while answering a question from employees about the company’s new ventures such as radio, business daily Mint and the Internet business, according to a person who was present at the address.
S. Keerthivasan, CEO, HT Music and Entertainment Ltd, the broadcaster of Fever, confirmed the development. “Yes, Fever has broken even during the January-March quarter. Our strategy of focussing on the four most important radio markets has been vidicated and this has helped us break even faster than usual. The cost structure of operating in these four cities is commensurate with the revenue streams from these centres. We are poised to become the most profitable radio operation in the country in times to come,” he said. Fever has a strategic tie up with Virgin Radio. In March, HT Media received approvals to demerge the radio business from HT Music and Entertainment Ltd and merge the operation with itself.
Verma acknowledged the difficulties in the business environment but said the company was poised to grow strongly again once the downturn was reversed. The company will continue to invest in all the new ventures it had started.
On Mint, he said while expansion plans had been delayed by 6-9 months, now the paper will definitely expand at least into two new cities this year. We had reported this earlier.
The Internet business will take time to break even, Verma said, as India is not a mature Internet market. All these businesses will serve the company well in the future, he said, according to our source.