IRS 2009 R2: All major English dailies show a decline in Mumbai, including TOI

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | November 24, 2009
Besides, amongst Marathi dailies, Maharasthra Times, Navakal, and Loksatta have lost readers; while Lokmat and Mumbai Choufer have registered growth in Mumbai

According to the current round of Indian Readership Survey (IRS) -- Round 2 (R2) 2009 -- The Times of India (TOI) continues to rule the financial capital of India across languages, with a total readership of 24.91 lakh. However, the country's largest English daily has seen a marginal decline in readership in Mumbai, which has been a TOI stronghold.

& #BANNER1 & #TOI continues to lead across three reporting centres of Greater Mumbai -- Mumbai City, Western Suburb and Eastern Suburb. In Navi Mumbai, however, TOI is the No. 2 player. In the previous round, Marathi daily, Navakal was the leading newspaper in Eastern Suburb; TOI has taken that position in the current round.

TOI's sister publication, Maharashtra Times also continues to hold the No. 2 rank in the city, though it has also marginally lost readers -- 59,000 readers -- from the previous round. Like most Marathi dailies, Navi Mumbai continues to be the biggest market for Maharashtra Times; but it's in this market that it has lost around 43,000 readers.

In Eastern Suburb, where it holds the No. 3 position, the daily has lost around 8,000 readers; and in Western Suburb, it has lost 13,000 readers. However, In Mumbai city, where the newspaper holds the No. 2 rank after TOI, it has gained around 5,000 readers. As per IRS R2 2009, the Marathi daily has a total readership of around 19 lakh.

Navakal is the third largest daily in the city with a readership of 17.73 lakh -- a loss of 33,000 readers from the previous round. The newspaper, which held the No.1 position in Eastern Suburb has now been pushed to the second slot by TOI. In this reporting centre, the Marathi daily has lost around 32,000 readers.

In Navi Mumbai -- where all Marathi dailies have a strong hold -- the newspaper is ranked at No. 5. Here, it has gained around 2,000 readers, thus maintaining a status quo situation. The newspaper has also gained around 6,000 readers in Western Suburbs, where it holds the No. 3 slot; but has a lost around 9,000 readers in Mumbai City.

Lokmat, which holds the No. 4 position in the city, is one of the few Marathi dailies to have registered growth in the city. In the current round of IRS, the Marathi daily -- which continues to hold the No.1 position in Navi Mumbai -- has gained a marginal 6,000 readers in Greater Mumbai. In Navi Mumbai, it has gained around 60,000 readers.

In Mumbai City and Western Suburb -- where it doesn't even feature among the top 10 publications -- Lokmat has gained around 7,000 readers. However, in Eastern Suburb, where it is at No. 10, it has lost around 59,000 readers.

The No. 5 position in Greater Mumbai is held by Loksatta, which has lost around 1.75 lakh readers across the city. For this Marathi daily, the biggest loss has been in Navi Mumbai, where it has lost around 57,000 readers; followed by 50,000 readers in Western Suburb, 47,000 readers in Mumbai City and another 21,000 in Eastern Suburb. In fact, in Mumbai City, where it held the No. 4 position, this decline in readership comes as a surprise.

Amongst English dailies, Mumbai Mirror, the tabloid from Times group, follows its elder cousin with a total readership of 14.2 lakh -- a loss of 80,000 readers. In Eastern Suburb, the tabloid has gained around 6,000 readers, but has lost in other centres. It has lost the most readers in Navi Mumbai -- 34,000, followed by 27,000 in Mumbai City and 25,000 in Western Suburbs, where it was the No. 2 player across languages.

At No. 7, Mumbai Mirror is followed by another daily from Bennett Coleman & Company -- Navbharat Times. The newspaper, which is the only Hindi daily amongst the top 10 in Mumbai, has gained around 6,000 readers. The Hindi newspaper has lost around 88,000 readers in Mumbai City, Western and Eastern Suburb. However, it has gained around 94,000 readers in Navi Mumbai, taking its total readership to 13.71 lakh in the city.

Mid-Day (English) and DNA come in at No. 8 and No. 9, with a total readership of 13.26 lakh and 12.83 lakh readers, respectively. However, both newspapers have lost readers in the city. While Mid-day's readership has declined by 91,000 readers; DNA has lost around 41,000 readers.

Mid-Day has lost around 33,000 readers in Navi Mumbai; followed by 22,000 in Mumbai City, 19,000 in Western Suburb and 17,000 readers in Eastern Suburb.

For DNA, the biggest loss has been in Mumbai City, where it has lost 26,000 readers; this is followed by a loss of 22,000 readers in Western Suburbs. However, in Eastern Suburb and Navi Mumbai, it has gained marginally, adding around 7,000 readers.

Amongst other English dailies, Hindustan Times has lost around 30,000 readers; while The Economic Times has lost 79,000 readers in the financial capital. Though Hindustan Times gained 38,000 readers in Navi Mumbai; it has lost around 64,000 readers in other reporting centres.

At No. 10 is Mumbai Choufer, with a readership of 12.32 lakh -- a marginal gain of 11,000 readers. Amongst Gujarati dailies, Gujarat Samachar leads in the city with a readership of 9.18 lakh.

The reporting city of Greater Mumbai includes Mumbai City, Western Suburbs, Eastern Suburbs and Navi Mumbai.

Marathi dailies have the highest readership in Mumbai, followed by English, Hindi and Gujarati.