Times Group is all set to launch Marathi daily Maharashtra Times in Pune on January 7, 2010. The newspaper will be in all-colour format, with an initial print run of 3 lakh copies.
Though it is not known how much the paper is priced at, it is said that it would be competitively priced. Parag Karandikar is the Resident Editor of the Pune edition, who will be working closely with Ashok Panvalkar, Senior Editor of Maharashtra Times.
Commenting on the new addition, Ranjeet Kate, Director - Languages Business, Times Group, said, “Pune is one of the most exciting markets in the country. Marathi is the preferred language of newspaper readers in Pune. The Times of India is the dominant English brand in the city, and now we wanted to leverage the Marathi opportunity in the city.”
The Maharashtra Times Pune edition would a main issue and supplements like Pune Times (Marathi), Pragati Fast (Education-Career) and Weekend Property.
Speaking about the advertisers that Maharashtra Times is targeting through the new edition, Kate remarked, “We are equally bullish about attracting national advertisers and local Pune companies. As we expect Maharashtra Times Pune to have a large circulation and readership, advertisers large and small are expected to leverage this brand.”
Meanwhile, a reader acquisition campaign has already been launched in Pune. “We have extensively used outdoor, FM radio and newspapers to promote the product. The advertising campaign will turn to the ‘Now Launched’ theme from January 7,” Kate added.
Moreover, on the advertisers and agency front, the group has already initiated activity in the Pune market and is in the process of rolling it out to the major metros.
Speaking on the investment made for the launch of the Pune edition, Kate said. “We are launching our premium brand using our state-of-the-art printing facilities and high quality imported newsprint. We have set up a large and standalone editorial and ad-sales team in the city.”