Going local is a mantra adopted by The Times of India to create greater connect with its readers in the various markets that it is present in. The latest such endeavour is the launch of a weekly hyper local supplement for the Sunday edition of The Times of India, Chennai. This four-paged colour supplement covers area specific neighbourhood news.
The Times of Adyar, Anna Nagar and T Nagar have been launched on October 12, while supplements for Tambaram and Purasawalkam areas will follow from October 19 onwards.
Ninan Thariyan, AVP and Response Head, The Times of India, Chennai, remarked, “The sole idea behind this supplement is to target the neighbourhood economies of Chennai, which are self reliant in every way. They will probably become cities in themselves in the future. Our idea is to reflect the immediate environment our readers live in.”
Ninan further said, “The strategic purpose of this venture is to provide our readers with the information they won’t get elsewhere, not even the FM stations, which are yet to broadcast news. The second purpose is to provide the advertisers a cost-effective tool to reach the TOI readers with complete choice of their target audience and area at cheaper rates.”
Chennai is not new to freely distributed, independent, local newspapers. However, Ninan considers the existing local newspapers to be standalone papers with the main thrust on free classifieds. Considering that some of these papers are decade-old and that a battle in the neighbourhood news market is in the offing, he stressed, “We already have experience in neighbourhood news in other markets. We are here to expand the choices for our readers and not to replace any existing player.”
He added, “Our new supplements would be in addition to the main newspaper along with other niche supplements, thus covering all kinds of news and making it a complete newspaper.”
Depending on the success in the five areas that have been already covered, The Times of India, Chennai has plans to come out with two more neighbourhood supplements in the near future.