Call it the war of the dailies but Mathrubhumi, the number two paper in Kerala,
has plans to equal the tally of editions published by rival Malayala Manorama.
The paper will launch its ninth edition from Palghat, Kerala, by the third week of August, bringing it on par with its old foe, which has a similar number circulating in the state.
The edition, says K. P. Narayanan, deputy general manager, Mathrubhumi, will fulfill the company's basic objective of being where the reader is. "Presently, our Trichur edition feeds Palghat, with about 60,000 copies circulating in the region. However, we would like to give Palghat readers more up-to-date, local information, which calls for an independent edition."
The new edition will comprise 16 pages on an average with regular supplements on Sundays, Mondays and Fridays. An average issue will have about four pages in colour, and will be priced at Rs 3.25 on weekdays and Rs 3.50 on weekends (that is, Sundays).
The Palghat edition will have a print run of about 75,000-80,000 copies to begin with, and will be heavily promoted to attract both readers and advertisers.
Competition, of course, comes chiefly from Malayala Manorama, which circulates at 85,078 copies in the Palghat region (figures according to the July-Dec 2003 period of ABC).
Ad rates of the two papers are also competitive with a black and white insertion in Mathrubhumi (across the Kerala editions) costing Rs 1,650 per column-centimetre to Malayala Manorama's Rs 2,100 per cc.
A colour insertion is higher at Rs 3,300 per column-centimetre to Malayala Manorama's Rs 4,200 per cc.
The investment for Mathrubhumi in launching the new edition as well as setting up a state-of-the-art printing unit at Palghat is approximately Rs 15-crore, and Narayanan is hopeful that the new edition will tie-in with the company's overall objective of emerging as the premier player in the state. "Our market share in Kerala is 30 per cent to Malayala Manorama's 34.5 per cent," he claims. "Our cost per thousand copies works out to about 20 paise to Malayala Manorama's 23 paise."
Other editions from the two groups include Kannur, Kozhikode, Mallapuram, Trichur, Kochy, Kottayam, Kollam and Trivandrum. © 2004 agencyfaqs!