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Much-hyped Sakaal Times launched in Pune

Pune-based Sakal Media Group on Wednesday launched its much-hyped English newspaper Sakaal Times with an initial print run of 1,00,000 copies. A 24-page daily, with almost 80 per cent content outsourced, Sakaal Times is divided into three sections and is with a cover price of Re 1, the Business Standard reported.

Headed by the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's nephew Abhijit Pawar, the paper has replaced group's earlier English newspaper The Maharashtra Herald.

The newspaper reported:

The group has tied-up with Delhi-based Asia-Pacific Communication Associates (APCA) and a number of content provider agencies to feed the editorial content. The colourful design of the new publications has been framed by international newspaper designer Mario Garcia. The paper presently comes with two pull-outs. The main section contains national, international, business and sports sections along with editorial and opinion pages. The first pull-out "Cityscape" contains stories from Pune and Maharashtra while another pull-out deals with entertainment and lifestyle issues.

Speaking to Business Standard, Sakaal Times Editor-in-Chief Anikendra Nath Sen said, "While some newspaper across the world are going more and more local, a number of newspapers are going "international" in its content. India is such a huge country and migration in the country is increasing. An individual in Pune may find a place like California close to him than a state like Assam. We are trying to address these readers." Sen added, the paper would come with daily magazines and a separate business news section soon.

The newspaper will be circulated within Pune city and district through the strong network of group's flagship Marathi daily Sakal, which sells almost 3 lakh copies in Pune district and more than 10 lakh copies across Maharashtra. The papers enters a saturated market, which has a sturdy presence of The Times of India (circulation 2.20 lakh), The Indian Express (65,000 copies) and new entrants like Daily News and Analysis and Pune Mirror (circulated free with The Times of India). After Pune, the second edition is expected to come in Goa, where it will replace group's present publication Gomantak Times.

Apart from Sakal and Sakaal Times, the Rs 350-crore group also runs an agriculture-dedicated newspaper "Agro1", an English daily Gomantak Times, a Marathi daily Gomantak, both in Goa and two magazines Saptahik Sakal and Tanishka. It also has a strong presence in Marathi internet news and content with www.esakal.com. Later this year, the group is also planning a foray into television segment with infotainment channel "Saam Marathi".

Date posted: May 8, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 881