Firstpost - Network18's digital news platform - launched its print edition on January 26, 2019. A weekly, the newspaper will be circulated on Saturdays and positioned as a weekend read. With the tagline, 'The Last Word in the News', the newspaper will have a long-format narrative with a focus on national politics, culture and art.
The editorial board is headed by BV Rao - editor, Firstpost while Praveen Swami is group consulting editor, Network18. The paper has been designed by Jacek Utko, a designer and consultant in print and web and will be printed at the Hindustan Times Press.
Firstpost was initially launched in 2010 as Firstpost.com, a news website. The brand further aims at engaging with readers via various soon-to-be-launched media products such as Club Firstpost and the Firstpost app.
The launch of Firstpost as a weekend newspaper is a part of that plan, explains Rao. "Content is platform agnostic. Readers are never confused about platforms. We cater to the digital reader who likes the comment and analysis served hot and bold. We will continue to do that," Rao adds.
Firstpost will be a 20-page broadsheet and shall cater to readers in Mumbai and New Delhi. The newspaper will be available for subscription in certain pin-codes of these cities. Subscriptions will be booked through two routes: point of contact through vendors and online through Firstpost.com.
"The idea of Firstpost print is to take brand Firstpost to all available platforms and mediums to make the Firstpost experience available to all," states Rao.
Network 18 already has offices and bureaus across India. The brand will leverage this talent pool.
Speaking to afaqs!, Rahul Kansal - business head, print and brand advisor, Network18, says, "This is not an attempt to ambush or overcome the daily newspapers. There is a big gap in the market which brand Firstpost can bridge. There is a market for high-quality newspapers aiming at discerning audiences. The combination of online and newspaper will make it appear more robust and re-stage Firstpost overall. The intent is to turn the Firstpost brand into a multi-media brand."
The brand has released a series of print ads along with a few ad films.
"The basic strategy is to reach influential decision-makers and top-end consumers. Actually, business dailies collapse over the weekend; magazines are great for image building, but not for call to action. Firstpost will be a go-to brand for advertisers who want to target a niche audience of intelligent, influential people," says Kansal.
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