Bangalore’s oldest English newspaper, Deccan Herald, is launching an edition in New Delhi, making it the first South Indian publication to reach out to readers and advertisers in the North with a decidedly South Indian title.
There has been no formal announcement from the family-owned group yet, but the buzz is that the edition may take off as early as this December, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of New Delhi as the capital of India.
An advertisement in the Delhi edition of The Hindu makes DH‘s plans clear. The ad seeks a news editor, sub-editors, city and sports reporters, artists and photojournalists “for its edition in the national capital.”
The Madras-based Hindu has long printed an edition from Delhi, but “Hindu” is a generic name with wider appeal. And the Hyderabad-based Deccan Chronicle comes out in Delhi and other cities as The Asian Age.
The “Deccan” in DH‘s title presents an altogether different challenge in terms of acceptance, especially among non-Karnataka readers unaware of the brand, its values or its core strengths.
The 63-year-old Deccan Herald pondered the possibilities of editions in the southern States in the mid 1990s, but was pegged back by a fractious family fight among the three brothers who own the paper (K.N. Hari Kumar, K.N. Tilak Kumar and K.N. Shanth Kumar) and the concomitant success of the revamped Bangalore edition of The Times of India.
DH‘s northern foray in 2011 comes after a division of responsibilities in the family helped stave off the challenge thrown by new entrants Deccan Chronicle and DNA on its home turf, and retrieve some lost ground, although ToI is the leader in Bangalore by a long way.