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Aaj Samaj launches fourth edition, four more in the pipeline

By Dhaleta Surender Kumar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 22, 2009
Hindi daily Aaj Samaj has launched its Gurgaon-Mewat edition. It will launch two more editions soon in Haryana

Hindi & #BANNER1 & # daily Aaj Samaj recently launched its fourth edition in Gurgaon in the national capital region (NCR). The edition will be circulated in the Mewat region (Ferozpur Zirka, Nuh, Pataudi, Sohna and Farrukh Nagar) as well.

Aaj Samaj, which is owned by Good Morning Media India, already has editions in Delhi, Faridabad and Rohtak.

According to Madhuker Upadhyay, group editor, Aaj Samaj, the Gurgaon-Mewat edition, with a cover price of Rs 2, has an initial print run of 19,000 copies. "While 4,000 copies depend on cash sales off the counters, the remaining 15,000 copies are subscriber driven," says Upadhyay.

The 16 page, all colour daily targets underprivileged and poor people. "Production-wise, we are upmarket. However, content-wise, we target underprivileged and poor people. Haryana is an industrial state. So, we maintain a balance in our news. Both product launches and labour issues get an equal share of print space," says Upadhyay.

While many mainline newspapers have postponed their expansion plans, Aaj Samaj is on an expansion spree. It will launch four more new editions in the next two months - two in Haryana (Ambala and Karnal) alone. The other two editions will have printing centres in Chandigarh (a Union territory) and Shimla (in Himachal Pradesh).

"If we are able to do well in bad times (referring to the economic slowdown), we can do much better in good times. Unlike other newspapers, which have resorted to cutting down pages and thinning staff, we've gone ahead with new editions and recruiting more people," says Upadhyay.

Good Morning India Media is promoted by Kartik Sharma, son of Venod Sharma, former Union minister and a leader of the Congress Party.

The Ambala and Karnal editions are expected to have print runs of 20,000 copies each. The Shimla edition may have a print run of 35,000 copies, while the Chandigarh edition may have a print run of 50,000 copies. "The Chandigarh edition will have 20 pages, unlike the other editions, which have 16 pages," says Upadhyay.

Aaj Samaj may also change its cover pricing strategy in the near future. The cover price may go up by 50 paise on weekends or on those weekdays when a special supplement comes out, says Upadhyay.