afaqs!

Bareilly launch plans of i next and Compact delayed due to unrest

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 19, 2010
Due to the unrest in the city, Amar Ujala and Jagran Prakashan have postponed the launch plans for their respective tabloids in Bareilly

The communal clash over the passage of a Barawafat procession, which later led to a curfew in several parts of Bareilly since March 2, has not only affected the daily routine of the city but has also affected the plans of two print media houses to launch their respective editions.

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Jagran Prakashan Group's compact bilingual daily, i next and Amar Ujala's tabloid for the masses, Amar Ujala Compact, were poised to be launched this month. However, according to the company sources, the plans have been postponed. "We will launch the edition only when things get to normal - else it might end up getting lost in this chaos," says Alok Sanwal, project head, i-next.

Though the curfew was relaxed for 11 hours on Wednesday and the district administration has announced the decision to reopen the educational institutions from March 22, the media houses are not taking any chances with their respective launches. i next and Compact are expected to be launched early next month.

For i-next, Bareilly will be the 10th edition. The daily will maintain its cover price of Rs 2 and will initially roll out 50,000 copies. The bilingual daily will have 24 pages on an average, with 11 pages of locally generated content and 13 pages of central content for the edition.

i-next, which is targeted at the youth and the upwardly mobile audience, will follow a traditional distribution strategy with a focus on daily sale rather than subscription led model. The newspaper is looking at advertisers from FMCG, retail, realtor, education and other similar segments from the city.

Sanwal says that within a fortnight of the launch of its Bareilly edition, the group will launch an edition from Jamshedpur. The tabloid is already present in Kanpur, Agra, Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi, Dehradun, Allahabad, Patna and Ranchi. Amongst the men, for whom i next is an alternative read, 80 per cent are Hindi daily readers and 20 per cent read both English and Hindi newspapers.

According to the sources, Amar Ujala Compact, targeted at readers looking for lower priced newspapers, also had to shift its launch plans to April owing to the unrest in the city. The compact daily had already put up hoardings in the city announcing the launch. Officials at Amar Ujala could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Priced at Re 1, this all colour daily, unlike other tabloids, encompasses almost everything that a broadsheet has. Compact is available in Agra, Meerut, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad and Dehradun.