When Sun TV Network bought Dinakaran in 2005, it was selling just over 68,000 copies. By March 2007, it had touched 900,657 copies after the relaunch under the Sun Network banner. Now, even as Dinakaran COO RMR Ramesh waits for the latest ABC results to be declared, he is confident that Dinakaran would cross one million copies. His goal is to surpass Malayala Manroama in terms of circulation.
Speaking exclusively with exchange4media, Ramesh exuded confidence about the daily, promoted by Kalanidhi Maran, crossing the circulation figure of Malayala Manorama, which has a circulation of figure of 1,540,451 (ABC, January-June 2007).
But Malayala Manorama has built the brand over the years and has editions outside Kerala as well, so how does Dinkaran plan to match or overtake its circulation figure? Replied Ramesh, “We are also planning to launch our edition in Mumbai sometime in September 2008, and will roll out in other metros step by step.”
He further said that the huge Tamil population present in all the four metros wanted Dinakaran to be present in their cities and “we intend to cater to their needs”.
Summing up the success mantra of Dinakaran, Ramesh said that there had been a void in Tamil Nadu and people were not happy with the existing dailies. Being present in the television sector for long time, the Sun Network Group knew the pulse of audience, he said, adding, “I think we catered to the right audience at the right time with the right mix of ingredients. This is one of the main reasons why our paper has been successful.”
Dinakaran was unique among the regional newspapers as it had brought out all-page colour edition for the first time in India among regional newspapers, he claimed. “Many followed suit. And now the trend is all-page colour. We had the foresight to do it three years back,” he added.
“No newspaper in Tamil Nadu has compartmentalisation of news like Dinakaran has. The paper also has 32 local pull outs for each district in Tamil Nadu catering local news, which is also one of our USP,” Ramesh pointed out.
Recently there was some controversy wherein Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had issued a diktat to his partymen not to give any advertisement or news to Dinakaran and had stopped all Government advertisement to the daily after Dinakaran gave prominence to a statement by Jayalalithaa in which she made grave allegations against the Chief Minister’s Madurai-based son MK Azhagiri and his Royal Cable Vision, a cable network recently floated in Madurai. (The announcement, which appeared in the recent issue of the DMK’s mouthpiece ‘Murasoli’ pointed out that while a majority of the dailies had carried an edited version of Jayalalithaa’s statement, Dinakaran gave importance to it and allotted a quarter page to it). To this Ramesh said that they had appealed against that in the Court and the matter was sub judice and hence further details could not be discussed.
He further clarified that all the newspapers had carried Jayalalithaa’s press release and added, “I do not understand why Dinakaran alone was singled out.”
As to other plans, Ramesh said that Dinkaran also had plans to bring about a lot of changes on the dotcom front as well in the next three months.