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Hyderabad: The next destination for Jagran's City Plus

By Rahul Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 30, 2009
More editions will be launched in this fiscal, as City Plus looks at expansion

City Plus, the weekly English tabloid from Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL), will be launched in Hyderabad next month. City Plus is a free publication aimed at local and hyper-local urban areas. The posh locality of Banjara Hills will see the first edition, which will be launched with a circulation of close to 45,000 copies. The tabloid will be printed in Hyderabad itself; and the printing work has been outsourced to a local printer.

After Bengaluru in 2007, this is the second city in southern India where City Plus has been launched. In Bengaluru, the fifth edition of City Plus for the area, HSR Layout, was launched recently. The company claims it has a circulation of 200,000 in Bengaluru.

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"Expanding across different markets in the western and southern region, City Plus will also make the brand Jagran known to the common people residing in these areas," says Salil Tandon, national head and editor, City Plus. In the southern region, the English newspapers market is dominated by the likes of The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle.

Since the tabloid is distributed free of cost, advertising is its only source of revenue. "We target the local and hyper-local businesses, who cannot afford the rates of big newspapers. Not just the content, but the ads too serve the locality in which it is given. In addition, the paper is distributed to those who have aspirations to buy something. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for both readers and advertisers," says Tandon.

But then, this renders the product vulnerable to the vagaries of advertising spends. The dip in advertising did impact them last year, admits Tandon. However, the publication is not dependent on a single or a couple of big advertisers -- which is typically the case with national newspapers; therefore, the impact was less, he adds.

JPL recorded a 10.61 percent increase in advertisement revenue in 2009, and the annual report highlights City Plus as a contributor to the growth.

City Plus has 21 editions spread across Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Pune and Navi Mumbai; and now, Hyderabad will be added to the list soon. The company plans to launch more editions in the tier 1 and tier 2 cities. City Plus is the only English publication from JPL, which also publishes the largest daily newspaper in the country, Dainik Jagran.