Lokmat, the Maharashtra based group, which publishes Lokmat, Lokmat Samachar and Lokmat Times has undergone both internal & external restructuring in the past few months. The newspaper has changed the look of its publications apart from getting seasoned professionals like M J Akbar aboard to strengthen the editorial side of the business.
Commenting on the changes, Jwalant Swaroop, Group General Manager, Lokmat says, "The Marathi newsapaper, Lokmat has been changed in looks as we wanted to create a more stronger differentiator between us and the other offerings in the market place. The new look of the newspaper adds freshness to the brand and of course brings newness in the experience of reading the newspaper. We also found that the old newspaper design was unable to meet the growing needs of our readers hence the new look was more than needed. Further we had the challenge to retain and nurture the new readership of young Marathi turks in order to provide them an exciting and satisfying reading experience it was essential for Lokmat to go in for a new look. We suitably altered our product to suite the changing tastes of our readers therefore we decided to provide a newspaper which has a reader friendly layout and has looks which appeal to young and modern Maharashtrian whom we address as New Maharashtrian."
Lokmat Samachar has been fighting out the battle with Navabharat in Nagpur. This move say company sources has been undertaken to trigger a more serious assault on the competitor in order to enhance its circulation share.
On the Hindi newspaper of the group, Lokmat Samachar, Swaroop adds, "Achutanand Misra has joined as editor of Lokmat Samachar. We had market feed back that non Marathi Nagpurians were willing to change if they get a good hindi newspaper. So we decided to re-launch Lokmat Samachar with a completely new look and design. Of course we targeted the non Marathi readership after carefully studying the competitor's content and design. I am glad it has really worked very well in our favour and so we have adopted the new look for our Aurangabad and Akola editions of Lokmat Samachar."
"Earlier we had a completely different mast head for Lokmat Samachar but in the new design we have taken the font similar to Lokmat our Marathi newspaper. The supplements have been designed to attract more female and younger readership. I am glad that the new look has helped us to push the competitor behind. Lokmat Samachar today is almost 45,000 copies ahead of Navabharat in Nagpur city as on today of course invitation pricing also has its role to play in this success." He adds.
The third daily publication of the group, the English language Lokmat has been redesigned in order to attract the serious English readership of Nagpur and Aurangabad. "These cities, as we all know are emerging cosmopolitan town in Maharashtra outside Mumbai and Pune. Therefore we felt to reposition a newspaper equally addressing the information and entertainment needs of the readers with an attractive layout will of course help the brand Lokmat Times to gain better circulation share. So we decided to re-position the newspaper with bold look and content." Added Swaroop.
Kumar Ketkar has also joined the group recently as the Editor-in-Chief. He is a well renowned name in Journalism. Ketkar has had stints with Mahrashtra Times and The Economic Times prior to joining Lokmat.
Apart from that M.J.Akbar too will be providing content direction to the group as a consulting editor.
As per NRS 2002 Lokmat has total readership of 78.4Lacs and IRS round 8th reports total readership of 73.81 Lacs. Both these studies make Lokmat the sixth largest read newspaper in the country.
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