The much talked about debut of Dainik Bhaskar is finally scheduled for August 22 - if everything goes according to plan. In Jharkhand, the Hindi daily will launch the first edition of the state from Ranchi.
According to those close to the development, Dainik Bhaskar is through with its booking and is now waiting for the D-day. Industry insiders add that the roll out of the edition should have taken place some time ago but the ongoing legal tussle within the Dainik Bhaskar Group delayed the launch of the Ranchi project.
The Jharkhand ad market is estimated to be worth Rs 100 crore. The Dainik Bhaskar Group's intention of launching a newspaper from Jharkhand and Bihar came into the forefront in late 2009 and the group formally announced its plans of entering the two states in March 2010.
The daily has introduced a yearly subscription drive of Rs 720 for the city.
Apart from Ranchi, the daily has also shortlisted Jamshedpur and Dhanbad for future launches in the state. The group plans to launch multiple editions from Bihar and the shortlisted cities are Muzaffarpur, Patna and Bhagalpur.
In Bihar and Jharkhand, the readership growth has been faster than the literacy growth. Interestingly, these two states were ranked the lowest in newspaper penetration - below 50 per cent.
Recently, all the Hindi dailies in Jharkhand, including Dainik Jagran, Prabhat Khabar, Hindustan and Ranchi Express, halved their cover prices, anticipating the aggressive strategies Dainik Bhaskar would soon undertake in the state.