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DNA sets July 21 as launch date, HT postpones Mumbai entry

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | June 23, 2005
Countdown for Mumbai's battle royale begins


After scorching the Mumbai billboards with its high-octane campaigns, Daily News & Analysis - or simply, DNA - is gearing up for its Mumbai launch. According to an internal communication meant for the newspaper's employees, the newspaper has set July 21 as the date for its Mumbai launch. & #BANNER1 & #

DNA sources, who declined to be identified, said the newspaper would begin its dry-run from tomorrow (June 24).

Media planners from Mumbai, however, said that according to the print media grapevine, DNA had set August 15 as its D-day. The DNA management did not offer any specific comments. "July 21 is one of the dates which is being considered," said a member of DNA's top management.

DNA, according to sources, would come out with an over-40-page issue for Mumbaikars. City-based news stories would get a special focus at the paper. Apparently, apart from six pages on Mumbai city alone, individual readers would be treated to one additional page focussed on the suburbs. It was learnt that the DNA editorial board has chosen 12 such suburbs.

Meanwhile, Gautam Adhikari, formerly executive editor of The Times of India, has joined DNA as Chief Editor. Apart from Adhikari, DNA has Ayaz Memon as editorial head for city and sports news, Khalid Mohammed as head of media and entertainment news, while R Jagannathan is the head of business news.

Plus, DNA has senior art director Bipul Guha driving the design efforts, while Vinay Kamat, former editor of Indiatimes.com and a senior editor of The Times of India group, has taken charge of the front page content for the Mumbai edition. Kamat is also a member of the editorial board along with Adhikari, Memon, Mohammed and Jagannathan.

Sathya Saran, former editor of Femina, has also moved to DNA. So have Roshni Jayakar of Business Today and Malvika Sanghvi of TOI. Sherwin Crasto from Reuters has joined as Photo Editor.

Hindustan Times, meanwhile, seems to have decided to postpone its Mumbai launch yet again. Though the newspaper never declared a launch date officially, it was believed that HT would be making its Mumbai foray on July 1. Media planners say that it's very likely that the newspaper will now come only after DNA.

"We haven't seen much ground activities by HT. It's likely that the newspaper will launch only in August-September," said Prasoon Kumar, media director, Madison.

No official confirmation was forthcoming from HT.

HT, according to market sources, will be a 40 page-issue with additional supplements on six days, while Sundays will see a 14-page magazine called HT Brunch.

At the moment, both HT and DNA are wooing readers with attractive subscription offers in a bid to penetrate the Mumbai market. HT, as reported earlier, is available at 97 paise per copy for those who opt for a year's subscription at Rs 348. The cover price of HT will be Rs 3 on weekdays and Rs 4.50 on weekends.

DNA, meanwhile, has decided to price itself at Rs 4. However, the paper will be available at Rs 2 for six months for those who subscribe to it. For such people, other allied benefits will include an entry into the DNA Founder-Partner Club, which entitles members (or subscribers) and their families to special privileges throughout the year. 2005 agencyfaqs!