Dainik Bhaskar to debut in Jharkhand on August 22

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 09, 2010
The Hindi daily has completed the booking formalities of the newspaper and is waiting for a go ahead to be launched in Ranchi

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.

When contacted, officials at Dainik Bhaskar refused to comment on the development.

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.

As per the sources, the new edition will bear a cover price of Rs 2 (from Monday to Saturday) and Rs 2.50 (on Sundays). The Ranchi edition will be a subscription led newspaper and it is estimated that on the first day of its launch, the daily will have a print run of about 1.70 lakh copies in Ranchi and up-country. "Dainik Bhaskar will become the No. 1daily from Day 1 in Ranchi," says the source.

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.

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