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Maharashtra Times to launch Pune edition

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 06, 2011
The new edition will soon be available in the city.

The Bennett, Coleman & Co (BCCL) is all set to launch a local edition of its Marathi daily, Maharashtra Times, in Pune this month. The daily is scheduled to be launched on January 7 or by January 16.

Although BCCL isn't promoting its Pune launch yet, it recently concluded a trial offer for prospective readers to subscribe to the daily by paying Rs 11 for four months. Says a source, "But, going by the fact that The Times Group does everything with a bang, this, too, will be launched with much noise. But, when? That is the big wait."

According to sources, the daily is targeting an initial print run of 2.5 lakh copies in the city. It will be a subscription-led model. The newspaper will cost Rs 3 on weekends, but lower on weekdays.

Anticipating its foray into the market, Maharashtra Times' competitors, which include Sakal, Lokmat and Punyanagiri, have earmarked extensive campaigns and are carrying out several product changes in an attempt to retain their readers. While Sakal, in a bid to target younger readers, became all colour from January 5, Lokmat launched an extensive campaign reinforcing its presence in the city. However, Lokmat denies that the campaign has anything to do with the mounting competition in Pune.

The Marathi daily, as of now, is published only from Mumbai. As per IRS 2010 Q3, the daily has a total readership of 23.96 lakh.

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