Haryana gets its first eveninger

By Dhaleta Surender Kumar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 12, 2008
Despite the economic slowdown, Sharp Vision Media has launched three editions of Abhi-Abhi and has plans to launch another seven

The & #BANNER1 & # Haryana-based media company, Sharp Vision Media, has launched an eveninger, called Abhi-Abhi, from the three towns of Rohtak, Hissar and Karnal within the space of a month.

According to Kuldeep Sheraon, chairperson, managing director and chief editor, Abhi-Abhi, the eveninger was launched in Rohtak and Hissar on October 25 and in Karnal on November 29.

Sharp Vision Media is planning seven more editions of the newspaper - in Gurgaon, Rewari, Sirsa, Ambala, Panipat, Chandigarh and Faridabad. However, according to Ajay Deep Lather, group editor, Abhi-Abhi, the newspaper will be printed only at seven centres. The Panipat, Chandigarh and Faridabad editions will be catered to by the Karnal, Ambala and Gurgaon printing centres, respectively.

The 12-page, all-colour Abhi-Abhi is a broadsheet priced at Rs 1.50. Its target audience is youth belonging to SEC A, A+ and aged 20-30 years.

An eveninger in a broadsheet format is a surprise indeed! "Yes," Lather tells afaqs!, "our competition is with the morningers. We are serious about news and that is why we didn't go in for a tabloid format."

Abhi-Abhi has decided to go the subscription way, with little presence on newsstands and other cash sale points. Its initial print run is 1.5 lakh copies. The company has started a subscription drive and claims that it will increase the print run to 2.5 lakh copies very soon.

The demand for the newspaper has come from new areas such as Faridabad and Gurgaon, which will be met from the Karnal printing centre initially. The printing centre in Gurgaon is expected to come up soon, and once up, will cater to Faridabad as well.

Abhi-Abhi's tagline is: 'Tez Khabar, Teekhi Nazar'. Lather is optimistic about the success of the newspaper. "Around 80 per cent of a morninger is news up to 3 pm. The rest is what happens between 3 pm and 8 pm on the previous day. We are going to the people with the idea of reading today's news today itself."

Lather is of the opinion that in the last few years, there has been a change in the lifestyle of Haryanvi youth. "They normally sleep around midnight and wake up only after eight in the morning. They go to work at around 9 am. What I mean to say is that they get very little time in the morning to read a newspaper, whereas in the evening, they have ample time," Lather says.

The Rohtak and Hissar editions will also cater to Fatehabad, Jind, Bhiwani, Panipat, Sonipat and Jhajjar. And the Karnal edition will also cater to Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Ambala and Kaithal. Until the Faridabad and Gurgaon editions are launched, the Karnal edition will cater to these cities.

Sheroan is non-committal about when the next editions will be launched. He rubbishes fears about the impact of the economic slowdown on Abhi-Abhi's prospects. "We will survive the storm and reach our goals," he says, confidently.

Sheraon, who also is the owner of Abhi-Abhi, has more than 15 years of experience in the Hindi media. Prior to starting his own venture, he was with Punjab Kesari. He has also worked with Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran and Dainik Tribune.

Lather was bureau chief of Navbharat Times in Faridabad. He, too, has worked with Punjab Kesari and Dainik Bhaskar.