Bangalore Mirror will finally hit the stands this June, as yet another media organisation enters the city’s market with a tabloid newspaper and exactly two years after the launch of Mumbai Mirror. Although the launch dates are tentative, the paper should be out on the stands in the beginning of the month.
KR Sreenivas, who was roped in earlier, will be the Editor, and the product from Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd will be designed on the same pattern as that of Mumbai Mirror. However, it would try to capture the local flavour for the benefit of the Bangalore audience. Bangalore Mirror will be distributed as a stand-alone product, unlike Mumbai Mirror.
The 48-page compact daily will be out on stands all seven days of the week. Rahul Kansal, Brand Director, TOI, said, “The paper will be very much a part of the ‘Mirror’ family. However, individually, we would try to bring out the Bangalore flavour as best as possible. Mumbai Mirror has proven to be a very successful model for us, and in connecting to the youth in Mumbai. Bangalore also has a very young market, and there are quite a few cultural attributes for a tabloid to flourish,” he said.
Kansal added, “We felt that as a brand, it was a good idea to develop further market segments. Everybody tries to be very similar and there needs to be a differentiation in the market. Broadsheets and tabloids are different in some ways, but tabloids are newspapers that are far spunkier, investigative and fun,” he said.
In terms of content, Kansal reiterated that it would be similar in form to that of the existing Mumbai Mirror. “We have found that Bangalore is very responsive too; and the Internet and new media technology space is of local interest to the readers here too. We will be generating content and focussing our writing on the community news about the IT space,” he added.
“Like Mumbai Mirror, we plan to introduce interactivity in the Bangalore paper too. Since it is a stand-alone paper unlike Mumbai Mirror when it began, we are going to have a very strong youth focus and connect to that section,” elaborated Kansal.
The paper is also looking at finding its space on the Internet as soon as possible, although no date has been finalised yet. In terms of its marketing, although there is no campaign launched specifically for the new paper, the media that they are exploring include new retail chains, entertainment and dining joints, among other outdoor spaces for now.
The Times of India had earlier acquired Vijay Times. Later, TOI shut down Vijay Times and re-branded it as this soon-to-be launched Bangalore Mirror. “Vijay Times used to be a decent, mainstream paper and was the second or third broadsheet brand in the market: it wasn’t very different from a Deccan Herald or TOI. To have made a change to Vijay Times itself would not have made a great impact. A dramatic change like this and a re-branding makes people sit up and take notice immediately,” he said.