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IRS 2010 Q1: Dailies in Kerala lose readers after gaining in the last round

In the last round (R2, 2009), all the top dailies, except Madhyamam, had recorded growth; while this time, apart from Rashtra Deepika, each one has shown negative growth

Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2010 Q1 suggests that nine out of the top 10 dailies in Kerala have lost readers. The only one to gain is Rashtra Deepika, which has added only 4,000 readers. This is in stark contrast to the situation in R2, 2009, when all the top dailies, except Madhyamam, had added readers.

Malayala Manorama continues to be the No. 1 daily in Kerala, with a total readership of 1.24 crore in Q1, 2010. The Malayalam daily has lost 2.41 lakh readers in the current round. However, in the last round (R2, 2009), the daily's readership had increased by 3.44 lakh.

The publication, which is No. 1 in state capital, Thiruvananthapuram as well, has a total readership of 4.3 lakh in the city, having lost about 26,000 readers in the current round. Interestingly, the state capital only contributes 3.5 per cent of its total readership in the state.

At No. 2, and more than 33 lakh readers behind Malayala Manorama, is Mathrubhumi, with a total readership of 90.94 lakh. The newspaper, which had gained 34,000 readers in the previous round, has lost around 3 lakh readers in Q1, 2010.

In the state capital, the newspaper has lost around 25,000 readers, which brings down its total readership to 3.95 lakh -- 35,000 readers behind Malayala Manorama. The city contributes 4.5 per cent of Mathrubhumi's total readership in the state.

The No. 3 daily in Kerala is Deshabhimani, whose readership is one-third that of the No. 2 daily, Mathrubhumi. With a total readership of 33.06 lakh in Q1, 2010, Deshabhimani has lost 1.37 lakh readers. However, in the last two rounds (R1 and R2, 2009), the daily had added as many as 4.29 lakh readers.

The No. 3 daily of the state finds itself placed at No. 6 in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, with a total readership of 88,000. It has lost 17,000 readers in the current round in the state capital.

Another Malayalam daily, Kerala Kaumudi is at No. 4 in the state, with a total readership of 13.04 lakh Ц a loss of 1.85 lakh readers in Q1, 2010. Since the daily had added 1.37 lakh readers in R2, 2009, its net readership loss comes to 48,000.

In the state capital, the daily is at No. 5 with a total readership of 98,000 readers -- a loss of around 15,000 readers. In fact, in Thiruvananthapuram, the group's tabloid -- Kerala Kaumudi Flash -- now claims more readership than the main daily.

Madhyamam is at No. 5 in Kerala, with a total readership of 11.45 lakh. It has lost about 97,000 readers in the current round; thereby minimising its losses over the previous round, when it lost 2.57 lakh readers. Over the last two rounds, the daily has lost 3.54 lakh readers.

With a loss of 17,000 readers in the current round and a readership of 88,000 readers, Madhyamam is at No. 8 in Thiruvananthapuram. But since it had gained 12,000 readers in the previous round (R2, 2009), Madhyamam's loss in the state capital, over the last two rounds, turns out to be 5,000 readers.

Four lakh readers behind Madhyamam is Mangalam, with a total readership of 7.14 lakh. In the last round, the daily had added 23,000 readers; but in Q1, 2010, it has lost 1.25 lakh readers -- taking its total loss in readership to 1.02 lakh.

In the latest round, the No. 6 daily in the state does not figure among the top 10 dailies in Thiruvananthapuram. In the last two rounds, Mangalam occupied No. 10 position in the state capital, with a total readership of 29,000 readers (R2, 2009) and 31,000 readers (R1, 2009).

The English daily, The Hindu is at No. 7 in the state with a total readership of 6.12 lakh -- a loss of 36,000 readers from the last round. In the state capital, The Hindu is at No. 3, with a total readership of 1.1 lakh readers. Over the last three rounds, it has lost 25,000 readers.

The No. 8 position in Kerala is occupied by Malayalam tabloid, Kerala Kaumudi Flash, with a total readership of 5.28 lakh readers (Q1, 2010). In the current round, it has lost 55,000 readers; while in R2, 2009, it had added 68,000 readers.

With a marginal loss of 9,000 readers and a total readership of 1.03 lakh, Kerala Kaumudi Flash is the fourth largest daily in the state capital.

At No. 9, Malayalam daily Rashtra Deepika is the only one to have gained readers in Q1, 2010. This time, the daily has added just 4,000 readers. It gained the maximum in the previous round (R2, 2009) by adding as many as 1.56 lakh readers.

With a total readership of 20,000 in the state capital in Q1, 2010, the daily has climbed two steps up from its No. 11 position in the last round.

Sitting firmly at No. 10 is The New Indian Express, with a total readership of 4.14 lakh, losing 25,000 readers in the current round. The newspaper had added 44,000 readers in the previous round. The daily is also consistent in the capital city at No. 7, commanding a total readership of 54,000.

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