Pune Mirror, the daily tabloid from Bennett Coleman & Co. that was launched in Pune in April 2008, bears a cover price now. The tabloid was distributed free with The Times of India till March 12.
Similarly, the Ahmedabad Mirror, too, became paid two months ago. Both the editions bear cover prices of Re 1 from Monday to Saturday and Rs 2 on Sunday.
Rahul Kansal, brand director, Times of India, tells afaqs!, "The brand has acquired popularity. Hence, we've decided to make it independent of The Times of India."
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The March 12 issue of Pune Mirror carried a small note for its readers which announced: "In this one year, having sampled our feisty campaigns, in-depth human interest features and breaking news stories, we hope you have developed an appetite for more. The paper is now de-linking from The Times of India and will be available as a full-fledged independent newspaper in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad".
Kansal admits that the pressure of the economic slowdown is a big factor in converting the brand into a paid publication. "During tough times, it makes sense for the brand to stand on its own feet," he says.
Pune Mirror and Ahmedabad Mirror claimed circulations of two lakh copies and one lakh copies respectively, before they became paid publications. According to Kansal, after becoming paid, the circulation of Ahmedabad Mirror "has settled down at 65,000 and the circulation of Pune Mirror is expected to settle at about 1.5 lakh copies."
Besides the Pune Mirror and the Ahmedabad Mirror, Bennett Coleman & Co. has three more editions under the 'Mirror' brand - the Mumbai Mirror, the Kolkata Mirror and the Bangalore Mirror.