With its new Managing Editor, Sanjay Kapoor of erstwhile 'Blitz' at the helm of affairs, Capital's afternoon newspaper Delhi Mid-Day is getting ready to sport a rich new look.
Delhi Mid-Day's make over comes within a couple of months of the launch of India Today Group's afternoon paper 'Today'. Before its launch, Delhi Mid-Day enjoyed the free-run as capital's only English afternoon paper. But it could not make significant mark either in term of its contents or circulation.
Sanjay Kapoor who's credited with exposing Hawala scandal and wrote the much talked about book on Hawala, has been brought in to revamp Delhi Mid-Day after the 'short-stint' of K. Srinivasan, the ex-editor of now defunct. Evening News from Hindustan Times Group. Kapoor promises a newsier, snappier, sharper and younger Mid-Day in its new avatar due in a month's time. "Currently the exercise is on to redesign the 16-page tabloid. We'll come up with a modern and smart reader-friendly afternoon paper by combining old conventional newspaper design techniques with the modern web designing concepts", informs Kapoor.
The content enrichment forms the central part of the strategy for revamping Mid Day. "Some papers have done badly in the past because they compromised with the contents. I want to make Mid-Day really information rich. And for that, we'll be doing hard-hitting exclusive stories. And as nothing sells better than politics, we'll be packing our paper with lot of potent political stuff", reveals Kapoor who will himself be contributing investigative stories, relying on his rich past experience with Blitz tabloid.
Kapoor is quick to counter that Mid-Day makeover is meant to beat the competition from Today. "We are far ahead of Today. RNI figures for February show that we are selling 35,000 copies. And our feed back shows that readers prefer Mid Day because they want to read news. We have no competition with Today. On the other hand, Mid-Day has to compete with morning papers. We want to package our newspaper in a manner that it does not look frivolous and instead offers serious reading.
Mid-Day has to be a credible mainstream paper". The new content strategy of Delhi Mid Day aims at striking a fine balance between the core readership of Babus in New Delhi area and the up-market readers of South Delhi. So, the new look Delhi Mid-Day will offer serious news on politics, corporate and business world and local issues besides some lighter sections on films, television, health, youth, gender to provide a holistic reading.
According to Kapoor, the major challenge before them is the distribution of the paper. "Still large areas in the city like West Delhi, East Delhi and major parts of South Delhi are untapped. Both Mid-Day and Today have not gone beyond the 3 km stretch. So, we have to penetrate deeper. Metro Rail will provide us good opportunity to reach to large numbers of readers in shortest possible time. Once the first phase of Metro Rail becomes operational by the end of the year, we'll be able to reach potential areas like Tees Hazari and Shahdara", he says.
Besides working overtime to launch the revamped Delhi Mid-Day time, Kapoor is also busy finalising the expansion plans which include bringing out language editions of the paper. The fresh recruitment of editorial, advertising and circulation staff is on the anvil. And shortly, a high profile promotional campaign will be launched to give a boost to the branding of Delhi Mid-Day.