‘Alai Osai’, a Chennai-based Tamil evening daily that has for long been defunct, is all set to re-appear as a morning daily from the second week of January. The re-launch would commence with a Chennai edition with 30,000 copies, and would soon be followed by printing from Tuticorn, Pondicherry, Vellore and Salem, according to Editor and Publisher, A J Anand.
Anand, who started his career with ‘Dinakaran’ in 1985 as an editorial trainee, is convinced that the timing of the launch is perfect for a publication that takes its politics seriously. The groundwork began in April 2004 after he parted ways with Dinakaran for the second time. Interestingly, he bought over ‘Alai Osai’ in 1996.
Speaking to exchange4media, he said, “‘Alai Osai’ was the only paper to generate readership from the politically passionate segments of society at a certain point in time. It has always been a single centre paper, and we want to take it further. We also want to go beyond politics – on which we will deliver – and present entertainment, business, entrepreneurship, retail and other segments as well.”
The hottest topic on most circuits in the state is the forthcoming Assembly elections. In a charged environment, Anand believed that the editorial experience and presentation of ‘Alai Osai’ would help create readers who would stick to the paper.
He explained, “We have waited for the right business and political climate to set in, and we believe it is now. We’re in the final stages of working out a distribution and subscription model, and speaking to people on tie-ups, and we think it is possible to take the newspaper to the reader innovatively.”
The publication had carried out a test marketing exercise with a few issues in Chennai, and claimed that feedback from varied reader segments was positive. It is priced at Rs 3, and will scale up to 100,000 copies (for its five centres) by the end of February, if things work to plan.
‘Daily Thanthi’ leads the Tamil daily segment, followed by ‘Dinamalar’. ‘Dinakaran’, which was taken over by the Sun Network last year, is also gearing up for a re-launch.
‘Alai Osai’ has a long way to go before catching up with the top two, and the publication is looking instead to take it one step at a time and carve a niche for itself among the political news consumers. For now, the mission is to ride the crest of the pre-election wave – and stay there.