The Times of India (TOI) continues to be the leading daily of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), followed by its foe-turned-friend, Hindustan Times (HT), with total readerships of 32.66 lakh and 32.44 lakh respectively. In fact, the gap between the two dailies has narrowed down from about 5 lakh readers in R1, 2008 to only 22,000 in the current round of IRS (R2, 2009).
However, like most leading dailies in this market, both the English dailies have lost readers in the current round of IRS. While TOI has lost 1.35 lakh readers, HT is down by 86,000 readers.
For TOI, it's about 4.15 lakh readers less than R1, 2008. The country's leading English daily had lost close to 3 lakh readers in the city a year ago, which it still hasn't managed to compensate for. Though it had managed to maintain a status quo by adding a marginal 4,000 readers, the current loss of readers has increased the gap.
HT, the No. 2 daily in the capital, has been on a steady path. After gaining about 1.56 lakh readers in the past two rounds, the current loss has put the newspaper where it was 18 months ago. While it's the No. 1 daily in West Delhi with a readership of 7.13 lakh, it shares the No. 2 spot with TOI in North Delhi with a readership of 6.6 lakh. With a readership of 8.14 lakh, HT is the No. 2 daily in South Delhi, too. In the NCR region (Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon), the daily is at No. 3 - ahead of TOI.
The leading Hindi daily and the No. 3 player in the capital city, Navbharat Times has maintained a marginal growth over the last few rounds. From 30.6 lakh readers in R1, 2008, the Hindi newspaper currently has 31.53 lakh readers - a gain of 94,000 readers. In the current round, it has added about 8,000 readers.
In North Delhi, where the Hindi dailies have a stronger foothold, NBT is the No. 1 player with a readership of 7.62 lakh - though it has lost about 13,000 readers in this reporting centre. NBT's biggest gain has been in the NCR, where it has added about 58,000 readers, though it's still a smaller player in this reporting region, where it is behind Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala and Punjab Kesari. In West Delhi, where it's currently the No. 2 player, NBT has gained 9,000 readers, though it has lost about 46,000 readers in South and East Delhi.
Dainik Jagran has retained the No. 4 position in the capital, which it had grabbed from Punjab Kesari in the previous round of IRS (R1, 2009), though it has lost about 39,000 readers in the current round. Currently, its total readership in the capital stands at 25.53 lakh.
The country's largest Hindi daily has gained 32,000 readers in NCR and East Delhi, but has lost about 48,000 readers in North Delhi. About 40 per cent of Dainik Jagran's readership comes from the NCR especially because of its stronghold in UP. In NCR, Dainik Jagran is not only the No.1 player, it's exactly double of Amar Ujala's readership - the No.2 player. However in Delhi city (North, East, West, South), it's only 60 per cent of Punjab Kesari's readership.
Punjab Kesari, which is the No.5 player amongst dailies in the National Capital Territory (NCT), has lost about 1.1 lakh readers in the current round. The newspaper, which has a stronghold in North and West Delhi, gets almost 50 per cent of its 24.75 lakh readers from these two reporting centres. In the NCR, it's almost one-third of Dainik Jagran's readership. However, in these two centres, the Hindi daily has lost about 73,000 readers.
Hindustan, at No. 6, is the other prominent daily of the city which has lost about 1.36 lakh readers, out of which 1.26 lakh readers are in the NCR. Besides, it has lost 81,000 readers in North, West and East Delhi, while it has gained 65,000 readers in South Delhi, which is considered to be an upmarket locality. In fact, the newspaper, with a total readership of 22.7 lakh in the city, has more than 5 lakh readers in South Delhi, where it is the No. 4 player.
Besides NBT, Amar Ujala is another newspaper which has gained readers, albeit marginally, in the capital city and its urban environs. It has added 15,000 readers in the current round, taking its readership to 8.18 lakh.
For the financial daily, The Economic Times, more than 50 per cent of its 4.6 lakh readers in the capital come from South and West Delhi. The pink daily has lost 19,000 readers in the current round (R2, 2009).
City based tabloids Mail Today and Metro Now have recorded readerships of 2.64 lakh and 1.27 lakh respectively. While Mail Today has grown marginally by 19,000 readers; Metro Now has lost 52,000 readers. Surprisingly, both for Mail Today and Metro Now, the readership figure is not visible in the NCR.
Mail Today's gets more than 60 per cent of its readership from North (65,000) and South Delhi (95,000), though the two markets which are poles part in terms of demographics. In fact the tabloid has added 29,000 new readers in South Delhi, this time.
In comparison, another city based tabloid, Mid-Day, has only 33,000 readers in the city.
Mint is the No. 2 business daily in the city with a readership of 1.66 lakh - almost one-third of ET. The newspaper has lost about 28,000 readers in the current round. Amongst other business dailies in the city, Business Standard and Hindu Business Line have readerships of 53,000 and 45,000 respectively.