The Statesman, one of the oldest English-language dailies in the country founded in the year 1875, is all set to initiate new innings starting today, March 15, 2017. As part of an ambitious expansion exercise, The Statesman will begin publishing an “early edition” from New Delhi focussing on states such as Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Simultaneously, it will also aim to provide wholesome news coverage of the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand through this particular edition. The newspaper has been bringing out separate editions for Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Siliguri earlier.
Rakesh Sharma, National Sales Head at The Statesman, is keen about the entry of the newspaper into some of these markets especially because of the arrival of a new government in various states following the recently concluded assembly elections. Explaining that The Statesman is considered as a “serious newspaper” owing to the reputation that it has acquired over 140 years, he stressed that it is still “confined to eastern India” in some ways.
However, the newspaper has now undertaken the specific task of making its presence felt in northern India. The ultimate goal indeed is to reach out to the mega-state capitals. “We want to expand first in print media and then towards the electronic media. We will also have a television channel,” Sharma said.
He further stated that the legacy news media organisation was attempting to increase its display, availability and awareness by using its journalistic resources to cover new markets and thus boost its distribution reach. Exchange4media has learnt that the organisation has pencilled segment-wise targets hoping to sell 30,000-40,000 copies of its latest product. Gujarat and Rajasthan have been identified as markets to be covered in the next phase of the project.
The Statesman is optimistic that its efforts will enable the newspaper to garner more advertisement revenues. As per the Pitch Madison Advertising Report (PMAR) 2017, the print advertising industry is projected to record a growth of 9.5% during the ongoing year by touching the figure of Rs 19,869 crore. The industry forecast reasoned that the “expansion will come from regional publications and new editions by existing publishers” in the market. In such a scenario, The Statesman can be a natural beneficiary.
Besides Editor and Managing Director Ravindra Kumar, Resident Editor Usha Mahadevan is reportedly taking the editorial calls in relation to the recent entrepreneurial endeavour. The Statesman.com Director Vineet Gupta is also said to be closely involved in the scheme of things. “We are going to expand ourselves in a big way,” Sharma added.