South meets North: ‘Deccan Herald’ now in Delhi

Karnataka’s oldest English newspaper, Deccan Herald, has made a brave northwards foray with the launch of its New Delhi edition on 11 December 2011, 100 years after political power moved to the national capital from the east.

Vol 1, No 1 of the 63-year-old Bangalore daily arrived this morning in the usual quiet, understated manner in which The Printers (Mysore) Pvt Ltd conducts things: no carpet bombing of copies, no “roadblock” of hoardings, no massive pre-subscription drives.

“We are happy to start the Delhi edition of Deccan Herald today. It’s the seventh edition since we launched the newspaper in Bangalore in June, 1948. Our strength is the trust we have won from our readers—a trust built on credibility and our commitment to objectivity. We offer you comprehensive coverage of news without bias,” said a front-page note from the paper’s editor, K.N. Tilak Kumar.

The launch issue with a cover price of Rs 5 has a 20-page main edition and this being a Sunday, an 8-page weekend culture section titled Sunday Herald. During the week, DH will serve Delhi versions of its usual fare:  a four-days-a-week city supplement titled Metrolife and a lifestyle supplement on Saturday titled Living.

Printed at the Indian Express press in Noida, DH‘s Delhi edition with four local pages gives the regional daily a more national profile, useful for reporters and newsmakers; and an additional publication centre that can be used to good effect on the advertisement tariff card.

But it also comes with massive challenges. The “Deccan” in the paper’s title has a distinctly south Indian feel; will it find resonance among readers in the North? Second, the New Delhi morning market is crowded with over a dozen newspapers with at least two more coming; can DH aspire for anything more than “organic growth”?

However, for sheer chutzpah, the timing of the Delhi launch takes some doing. Newspapers like The Telegraph have  pondered coming to Delhi for at least 15 years but have not found the strength to do so. Also, DH (designed by Palmer Watson) comes at a time when the Indian newspaper industry is facing several existential issues.

But DH has established itself as a horse for the long race over six decades. The arrival, therefore, of a serious newspaper from a group which has no interests other than journalism, when the Indian media is being asked probing questions on its methods, motives and motivations, can only be good augury.

Former India cricket captain Anil Kumble (centre), the chairman and joint managing director of The Printers (Mysore) Pvt Ltd K.N. Tilak Kumar (right), and the veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar at the launch of the Delhi edition of 'Deccan Herald' in New Delhi on Sunday, 11 December 2011

Also read: Coming soon, Deccan Herald from New Delhi

Finally, a redesign not done by Mario Garcia!

How Deccan Herald welcomed the Republic of India

7 Comments

  1. Krishna Kumar

    The ‘New York’ in the name of NYT did not prevent it from becoming an international newspaper. The ‘Wall Street’ in the WSJ did not prevent it from becoming an international newspaper. Despite its name, ‘The Hindu’ is the most respected newspaper in India, across all communities. So, what is in a name?

    The TOI is launching its Kerala edition utilising the production facility, and distribution network of Mathrubhumi. Similarly, serious, quality newspapers like The Hindu, and Deccan Herald should launch editions across India, utilising the Production & Distribution networks of regional (language) newspapers.

  2. I am glad one more Southern newspaper has its presence in Delhi. An older newspaper The Deccan Chronicle is selling in Delhi for the last ten years. The Indian Express, a 100 per cent southern newspaper showed up in Delhi in the late fifties, followed by a facsimile edition of the Hindu. Ramoji Rao’s Eenadu is already there. I am sure other Tamil and Malayalam newspapers too have their Delhi editions.

    The point in opening a Delhi edition is to capture the loyalties of the large South Indian populations in Delhi. They can even have a Karol Bagh and Ramakrishnapuram editions.
    The second point is to enlarge the bureau in Delhi and increase the advantage of proximity to the fountains of Capital news, gossip and grapevine. No newspaper today depends on sales revenue. The Deccan Herald and other newspapers, with their presence in Delhi, will be able to rake a larger chunk of public and private sector. advertising revenue. ..

    As you know, newspapers have what loosely can be called side or non-newspaper businesses which will gain by the clout a Delhi edition gives them. The original Press Baron fully exploited T.T.Krishnamachari and Kamaraj Nadar for his other businesses. An earlier pioneer in this art was G.D.Birla.

    I wish the Deccan Herald, which offered a berth to me in 1959, all the best

    Krishnamoorty Dasu

  3. And possibly a north-south dialogue!

  4. Mathihalli Madan Mohan

    This was long overdue. One can now find more whiff of the Delhi air in Bangalore edition and is able to put across the Karnataka perspective for the Delhiites. I wish the venture all success.

  5. Delhi and NCR is already flooded with newspapers. If my guess is right, no other metropolitan city in the country (except, perhaps, Mumbai) has so many dailies. Having said that, given that New Delhi is a geographically huge area, more so when Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon is counted, there shouldn’t be a problem of filling the pages as the place is abuzz with events and other happenings.
    That a South-based newspaper has ventured into the North is a healthy sign for print journalism in India, already apprehensive of its future (The sacking of Mid Day in Bangalore and Delhi is a case in point).
    I don’t think it’s a matter of North-South divide anymore. News is news, whether it happens in the North, South, East or West.

  6. samir

    Good luck for Deccan Herald. But, let it first concentrate on quality in write-ups. Look at the mistakes glaring even on page 1.

  7. Genius

    Saaleeyyy …tum logo ko senseless newspapers heee achyyy lagty hai..jaise ‘TOY’…….tum log usi ke layak ho

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