Chennai-based Aazhi Publishers have launched ‘Thamizh Aazhi’, a mainstream news magazine in Tamil. The magazine hits newsstands on January 5, 2013 and has a cover price of Rs 20.
The monthly magazine will be available in all major cities and towns of Tamil Nadu, all metros in India and select global hubs such as London, California, Toronto, Singapore, Malaysia, Sydney, Paris, and Sri Lanka that have a sizeable population of Tamil readers.
The magazine is published and edited by S Senthil Nathan, CEO of Aazhi Publishers, who was, until recently, also the Chief Copy Editor at ‘India Today’ (Tamil).
Speaking to exchange4media, Nathan said, “My experience and stint at ‘India Today’ made me realise that the slot for original news magazines in Tamil is vacant. The expectation of readers of Tamil news magazines is on the rise. The market is vastly under-served and there are only investigative magazines in Tamil; no mainstream news magazines available, except for the translated editions of a couple of national magazines. Hence, to fill the gap, we have conceived and developed ‘Thamizh Aazhi’.”
‘Thamizh Aazhi’ is a political and current affairs news magazine similar to ‘Time’, ‘Newsweek’, ‘India Today’, and ‘Outlook’. 50 per cent of the content is political news, 20 per cent is entertainment and cinema news, 30 per cent of the content is related to business, personal finance, education, jobs, technologies, art, literature etc. The initial print run is 20,000 copies (18,000 copies for India and rest for other markets). The magazine comes with 64 multi-colour pages and is printed on high quality gloss paper.
Stating the objective of the magazine, Nathan said, “Our aim is to become the number one mainstream news magazine in Tamil in terms of both mindshare and market share within the next two years. We will have a global outlook and a liberal view. ‘Thamizh Aazhi’ will be the first magazine in Tamil to provide an equal importance in its coverage of global events and trends.”
‘Thamizh Aazhi’ has teamed up with Magzter, a digital publishing platform, to bring out the digital version of the magazine, which will be launched on January 14, 2013 on the eve of the Pongal festival.
Nathan is expecting a run of 50,000 to 60,000 copies in the next six months, steadily climbing up to 1 lakh within a year. The change in the periodicity of the magazine from monthly to weekly is expected before the 2014 general elections.
The cover story of the magazine’s first issue is an interview with anti-nuclear activist Suba Udayakumar, voted ‘Man of the Year’ by the magazine. The other special or main sections include what to expect in 2013 in terms of personal finance, personal technologies and careers, special articles on Narendra Modi and the Delhi gang-rape issue, interview with a political leader that criticised the caste associations in the State, a special article by a popular Palestinian journalist on the UN vote on Palestine, and a column by a noted international relations critic from the US on how Obama 2 will affect US-Sri Lanka relations. Other stories include Kamal Hassan’s venture into DTH distribution and Sachin’s farewell to ODIs.
The promotional activities include magazine’s introduction programme during the Chennai Book Fair 2013 from January 11-23. A social media marketing team has been appointed to take the ‘co-creation’ approach to reach readers.
Speaking on future plans, Nathan stated, “We will be coming up with new magazines within the next three months – ‘Inge & Ippodhu’, a city-specific lifestyle, and fashion weekly in Tamil Nadu; ‘Payanam and Sutrula’, a monthly magazine on travel and tourism; ‘Franchise Indru’, a monthly B2B magazine for franchising, retail and business opportunities; and ‘Metro Novel’, a fortnightly publication carrying the Mills and Boon genre of novels.”