publisher The India Today (IT) Group announced the launch of its new daily, Mail Today, for Friday, November 16. The compact newspaper is being published in a joint venture with the UK-based Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail (circulation: 2.4 million copies). Traditionally a magazine publisher, the IT group is clear about wanting to become a significant player in the English newspaper space, dominated by The Times of India and, to a more limited extent, Hindustan Times.
Expected to hit the newsstands in Delhi, Mail Today, priced at Rs 2, will begin with a print run of 1.2 lakh copies. In six months, the daily will have new editions and move into other cities as well. A Mumbai or a Bangalore edition is not being ruled out.
Sharing his vision, Aroon Purie, chairman and editor-in-chief, India Today Group, said, "India as a country has changed a lot over the years. Increasing disposable income has brought in a lot of change in attitudes. We feel there is a space for a newspaper that targets the new Indian middle class. We hope to give them what the other newspapers have not."
Purie said that he was frequently asked if there was space for yet another daily in a crowded market. Experience, he said, had taught him that if a product was sharply differentiated, it would always find a market for itself.
Purie harked back to the launch and success of India Today in a dull newspaper market. Even when his group launched Aaj Tak, he recalled, he was told that it would never succeed against established news channels. However, it became a leader within months because its lively coverage from the streets put the others in the shade.
Purie sees Mail Today as a paper that is bold, compact and easy to read, and one that does not shy from taking a stand even if it means sticking its neck out. The core target group is middle class and intelligent people looking for news and entertainment. The daily will also keep a sharp eye out for the specific needs of women readers whose concerns, Purie believes, are largely ignored by the existing dailies.