Leading Kannada daily, Vijaya Karnataka, has entered the eveninger space in Bangalore from Friday. The evening edition which will be hitting the stands before 15:00 hours daily, is also called ‘Vijaya Karnataka’, and is priced at Rs 2. This follows the launch sometime back of the group’s English daily, Vijay Times, as a late-city edition priced at Re1.
Speaking to exchange4media, L Ramanand Bhat, Executive Managing Editor, Vijay Times, and Director, Vijayanand Roadways Limited, “We feel that in the newspaper space, people can’t keep reading the same news from morning till evening. The competition for newspapers is not just from print but also from television. The evening edition not just provides updates on the morning’s news but also provides fresh news to capture reader interest.”
The publication expects that the market for Kannada eveningers in Bangalore will move up from the present 30,000 copies to over 45,000 with the entry of Vijaya Karnataka. The eveninger will, however, be available only in the Bangalore market for now as the upcountry market is seen as being too small.
Bhat said the eveninger would also help Vijaya Karnataka create a distribution network for the eveninger segment. “Now we are setting up a distribution network for ourselves. With only the Vijay Times as a late-city paper, the cost of creating a network for that alone was too high. With two papers we have the scale to set up a network where presently none exists.”
There’s more action in the Vijaya Karnataka group. Reliable industry sources inform that the publication recently announced an increase in the gross salaries for its staff across the board. For the editorial staff at Vijay Times, the pay hike is said to be 50 per cent, while for all other staff, and all staff of Vijaya Karnataka, the hike is around 20 per cent.
In another development among Kannada dailies, the mainline publications have raised their price (en masse) from the current Rs 2 to Rs 2.50, owing to an increase in input costs. A decision is said to have been arrived at to revise prices from July 1, 2005. The hike is learnt to be valid for Udayavani, Kannada Prabha, Samyukta Karnataka and the top two, Vijaya Karnataka and Prajavani. It is expected to be applicable on all days save Fridays and Sundays, when the publications are already priced higher.