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Jharkhand print war: Dainik Bhaskar launches Ranchi edition; fight begins for Rs 100-cr ad pie

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Jharkhand print war: Dainik Bhaskar launches Ranchi edition; fight begins for Rs 100-cr ad pie

Jharkhand is emerging as the next battlefield for Hindi dailies. The state has been witnessing the launch of quite a few new editions. The latest to join the bandwagon is Dainik Bhaskar, which launched its Ranchi edition on August 22, 2010. The paper has competition from players like Hindustan, Prabhat Khabar and Dainik Jagran in this market.

This is the12th state that is now covered by the Dainik Bhaskar group, apart from presence in states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. The Ranchi edition is the 49th edition of the group. The group soon plans to expand further with the launch of Jamshedpur and Dhanbad editions in Jharkhand and in Bihar in early 2011.

Dainik Bhaskar Ranchi edition is priced at Rs 2 (Monday to Saturday) and Rs 2.50 on Sundays. The group has claimed that Ranchi edition was a subscription based model and had a huge pre-booked fully paid subscription of 1.35 lakh copies. The Ranchi edition is in all colour.

In a prepared statement, Manoj Agarwal, COO, Jharkhand, Dainik Bhaskar, said, “Jharkhand as a market is currently estimated at Rs 100 crore-plus in terms of advertising. In our experience, the collective readership and the advertising market have seen catalytic growth whenever

Dainik Bhaskar Group has entered a new territory, and we do believe that this will be the case at Jharkhand too.”

Apparently, the first day of Dainik Bhaskar in Ranchi also witnessed a bit of a scuffle among the hawkers, who were reportedly not paid the adequate amount of money.

While other major newspaper players are working on their future strategies, they welcomed the fourth major player in the market. KK Goenka of Prabhat Khabar said, “We want to have a healthy fight in the market. We are excited and hoping to lead the market.”

Shashi Shekhar, Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan, too, welcomed Dainik Bhaskar in the market and said, “This launch will intensify alertness among the newspaper players in the market; it will be beneficial for the readers. Readers will get better product to read.”

Meanwhile, in another development, six reporters of Dainik Bhaskar joined Hindustan before the launch of the newspaper in the market. Raman Shukla, DNE, Hindustan, who left Dainik Bhaskar just before the launch, said, “They (Dainik Bhaskar Group) were not able to take the employees into confidence, hence six reporters from various designations moved out of the organisation.”

Prior to this, all Hindi dailies in Jharkhand, including Hindustan, Dainik Jagran, Ranchi Express and Prabhat Khabar, had cut down their cover prices speculating cutthroat competition once Dainik Bhaskar hit newsstands in Ranchi. Prabhat Khabar had also launched its Ranchi edition in all colour on August 14, 2010.

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