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The Hindu to start Tamil daily?

Chennai, Jan 1 (): The Hindu is exploring the business options of starting a Tamil daily.

Kasturi & Sons, publishers of The Hindu, had given the go ahead for a proposal by its chief executive and team to explore the feasibility and prospects of starting a Tamil daily.

N Ram, director of Kasturi & Sons and former editor-in-chief of The Hindu Group, said that the move should be viewed as only exploration and not termed as a decision to start a Tamil daily.

Considering that the English daily scenario in the South is getting saturated and regional newspapers showing greater growth in terms of revenue and readership, The Hindu far ahead of its rivals in Tamil Nadu and Kerala is second in Andhra and third in Karnataka.

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, publisher of The Times of India, is closely narrowing its gap with the The Hindu especially in Chennai and is ahead in Andhra and Karnataka. Its combined subscription offer of linking its regional dailies like in the Hindi (Navbharat Times), Marathi (Maharashtra Times), Kannada (Vijay Karnataka) and Bengali (Ei Samay) with its English daily is making inroads. In Kerala, it has a tie-up with The Mathrubhumi  the second largest circulated Malayalam daily.

In Tamil Nadu, Times’s financial daily Economic Times has a content sharing with Dina Thanthi, the number one Tamil daily.

ABC figures show that Dina Thanthi gained in circulation to reach 15 lakh subscribers while No 2 Dinakaran dropped by 2 lakh copies. Last year it was only a difference of 13000 copies with Thanthi. Dinamalar, the third player slightly increased the circulation and the fourth player Dinamani too marginally increased.

The Hindu strongly believes that Dinamani would be marginalized and with a 16 page all colour edition and six supplements a week to boot it can reach a circulation of 6,00,000 copies and annual revenue of about Rs 100 crore.

Tamil Nadu’s regional newspaper revenue in the coming year would touch Rs 700 cr and accounts for 26 per cent of the overall regional print industry, estimated at about Rs 2,970 crore in 2011-12.

Malayalam dailies’ revenue would touch Rs 1220 cr in the overall market in the South that is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 12 per cent, to Rs 4,630 crore by 2016.

In Tamil Nadu, for every 75 English newspapers sold, 100 Tamil dailies are sold.

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