Mid Day has come out with all guns blazing following an agencyfaqs! report quoting senior Bennett, Coleman and Co. (BCCL) executives that Mumbai Mirror is outselling Mid Day in Mumbai.
"Forget Mumbai Mirror, our sales growth is even hurting The Times of India," says Manojit Ghoshal, CFO, Mid Day Multimedia.
Ghoshal's account is very different to what BCCL executives had to say about Mumbai Mirror. "Mumbai Mirror has a print run of one lakh copies. Out of which, some 60,000 are being sold as raddi (scrap), another 20,000 as free-sample copies, while 20,000 is the actual paid circulation."
According to Ghoshal, even the paid-for circulation is expected to drop in July. "Our data shows some 10,000 homes had subscribed to BCCL's offer of clubbing Mumbai Mirror with The Times of India for an additional Re 1 for a month. Once that period is over in July, the paid circulation could even drop to 10,000."
BCCL executives maintain that Mumbai Mirror's circulation has touched "1.7 lakhs against Mid Day's figure of 1.2 lakhs". The tussle between BCCL and Mid Day is reminiscent of the ongoing feud between The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle in Chennai.
The BCCL stand doesn't find too many supporters. Prasoon Kumar, media director, Madison, says, "TOI wanted to hurt Mid Day by launching the Mumbai Mirror. But that hasn't happened and Mid Day remains absolutely unaffected."
"In fact, if anything, Mumbai Mirror has started hurting the main paper - The Times of India. We have received reports that BCCL is supplying Mumbai Mirror to homes at South and West Mumbai free of cost to increase sampling. BCCL is floundering because of its decision to launch Mumbai Mirror as a morninger," Kumar adds.
Independent media observers from Mumbai say newspaper vendors in the city are giving a feedback that they are selling only one Mumbai Mirror for every five copies of Mid Day sold.
Ghoshal clarifies, Mid Day has a circulation of 1.9 lakhs - the ABC July-December 2004 statistics showed that Mid Day had a circulation of over 1.4 lakhs in the Mumbai market - and is growing at 30 per cent every year. "We want to be the number one paper in Mumbai and very soon, we will be launching Mid Day in other cities of the country. So, expect us to be a national tabloid soon," he quips.
TOI, says the Mid Day CFO, is feeling the heat and its circulation is under pressure. "Of our two editions, the morning one that hits the stands at 6 am accounts for around 50 per cent of our circulation. Seen in this light, should you call us an eveninger? Tabloids are the most read newspapers all over the world. I don't see why it should be an exception in India." © 2005 agencyfaqs!