afaqs! news bureau

Divya Marathi debuts in Aurangabad

Dainik Bhaskar's first Marathi daily was launched from Aurangabad on May 28.

The Dainik Bhaskar (DB) Group launched Divya Marathi, its fourth language daily from Aurangabad on May 28. This is the DB Group's 60th edition. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was the chief guest at the launch of the Aurangabad edition, and the function was presided over by Prithiviraj Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra. It is learnt that the print run for the first day of the Aurangabad edition was 87,000 copies.

Divya Marathi debuts in Aurangabad
In an attempt to map an in-depth understanding of the readership patterns in the city, the group claims to have surveyed 1.4 lakh households and commercial establishments in a twin contact programme, prior to the launch of the Aurangabad edition.

In the first phase, the group undertook a door-to-door survey, in which readers were requested to share their views about 'their ideal newspaper'. In the second round, households were visited in the city, to book orders.

The pre-launch exercise was supported by a branding campaign to announce the initiation of the survey at each stage -- 'Tumchi Marji Janoon Ghyayla Yetoye' (We are coming to know your opinion), and 'Na Galli Chi, Na Dilli Chi, Aata Chalel Tumchi Marji" (Now, neither the wishes of any other city nor of Delhi's will prevail; only your wish will prevail).

As per company officials, about 97 per cent of the people in Aurangabad want an unbiased newspaper, which is neither affiliated to any political party, nor falls in an influential category.

The newspaper, as of now, will only cover Aurangabad city, and will move to cover Aurangabad upcountry in the future. The edition will also cover Jalna and Beed at a later stage.

In an official communiqué, Sudhir Agarwal, managing director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, says, "The pre-launch surveys were one of the largest conducted in the Aurangabad region, and were an exciting challenge."

Divya Marathi debuts in Aurangabad
The daily has a cover price of Rs 3, valued at Rs 1,095 per year. But, in order to promote the daily, the group had introduced a pre-launch offer, wherein the subscribers could subscribe for a downpayment of Rs 199, with Rs 45 to be paid to the vendor every month. In effect, the reader will have to pay Rs 739, annually.

Hemant Arora, chief officer, marketing and corporate sales, Dainik Bhaskar Group, says, "This launch is one of the most important launches for us. It is one of the priority markets for the advertisers. This time, too, we have created a high degree of awareness for our efforts for the Divya Marathi launch process, such as sharing the subscriber data base in a transparent fashion."

The ad rate for the edition is Rs 400 per sq cm for black-and-white ads, and Rs 600 per sq cm, for colour ads.

On an average, the main paper of the new edition will have 12 pages, along with a local pullout titled Dainik Divya City, an eight-page regular daily broadsheet. It will also have four pages of DB Star, which will be circulated along with Divya Marathi everyday, except Wednesdays.

In addition, the group has also introduced supplements such as an eight-page Sunday magazine titled Rasika, a four-page education magazine for Wednesdays titled Divya Education, and an eight-page tabloid that will be circulated every Friday, titled Ardhe Akash Madhurima.

An edition from Nasik is soon to follow, and will be launched shortly by the end of June, or in early July.

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