The Statesman-afternoon edition: Kolkata gets its afternoon daily

By , agencyfaqs! | In | May 22, 2002
Priced at Rs 3 in a tabloid format, The Statesman-afternoon edition, will hit newsstands, special retailers and restaurants in Kolkata at 1.00 pm today


The market for afternoon newspapers seems to be hotting up. After Today, launched by the Living Media Group in Delhi, Kolkata is gearing up for its first afternoon daily from The Statesman group. Priced at Rs 3 in a tabloid format, The Statesman-afternoon edition will hit newsstands, special retailers and even restaurants in the city at 1.00 pm today.

Talking exclusively to agencyfaqs! on the launch, Adrian da Cunha, general manager, marketing, The Statesman group, says, "Kolkata has changed dramatically over the last eight to 10 years, with new clusters of residential and office districts coming up at far flung areas. Earlier the commute for most office goes was restricted to a very south-central direction. Now there are new residential colonies like Salt Lake, which is more towards north Kolkata, and office districts like Shyam Nagar, Haldia, which are a good 45-minutes to an hour's drive from the city centre. Together with this, huge traffic snarl-ups even between short distances have opened up new time/opportunity to read. In fact, the average housewife in Kolkata also looks for something interesting to read around that time (afternoon). Our research has corroborated that this afternoon slot is a big opportunity waiting to be tapped."

With such a broad audience profile in mind, The Statesman-afternoon edition hopes to carve out a niche for itself with a very distinct editorial style. "The tabloid will be very different from the Mid-Days or the Todays that you have in Mumbai and Delhi. Our research has shown that the people of Kolkata like a reasonably conservative, understated style. Though we will definitely not be conservative in our coverage, you will not see the sensational news and sexy pictures that adorn other afternoon dailies elsewhere. We plan to cover a wide variety of topics in a very tasteful fashion," explains da Cunha.

With a print run of 15,000 copies, The Statesman-afternoon edition is looking at a radius of 10-12 km around Park Street (the hub of Kolkata's business district) for the bulk of its sales. Since women constitute a big part of the afternoon tabloid's target audience, The Statesman-afternoon edition will also be placed at big restaurants and major shopping malls in and around the city that are frequented by women during the later part of the day. "We will target big residential complexes in a way that the vendor is able to sell at least 40-50 copies at a particular place to be able to take home forty-fifty rupees by the end of the day," says da Cunha

The topics that will be covered include sports, fashion, culture and the city news. "A special team has been put together which includes journalists who have had successful stints abroad with afternoon papers," says the newspaper sources. © 2002 agencyfaqs!