The first Kannada newspaper was published in 1843 from Balamatta in Mangaluru but there was no credible English newspaper for the region and to fill up this gap Deccan Herald was born on June 17, 1948. The English daily Deccan Herald is run by the Nettakallappa family and is published from Karnataka by The Printers (Mysore) Private Limited.
The founder of Deccan Herald was K N Guruswamy who was the eldest son of Rao Bahadur Kanekal Nettakallappa, a prominent businessman from Bellari. The family traditionally belonged to the community of toddy collectors and had excise contracts with businesses across the state. K N Guruswamy did not have any prior experience in journalism and purchased a property in Bengaluru’s M.G Road with the intention of starting a movie theatre. However, with the persuasion of Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar, the Diwan of Mysore, Guruswamy started the The Printers (Mysore) Private Limited to fill in the demands of Bangaluru’s English readers. Justice P P Medappa who later on went on to become the chief justice of the state suggested the name Deccan Herald for the newspaper.
The first editor of Deccan Herald was Pothan Joseph. Other prominent people who initially took the helm were S. Krishna Rau, E. V Scott and Ron Hendricks. CGK Reddy was the first general manager and K P Krishnamurthy was the first advertising manager. After few initial hiccups Deccan Herald was launched as a tabloid on 17th June 1948. In October 1948, the sister publication, Kannada daily, Prajavani was launched.
The newspaper had a disastrous start with poor circulation and advertising revenue. No directors of the company had any prior knowledge or experience of operating a newspaper. During the 1950s, the company almost went for a closure and was saved by a bank loan so solve the crisis. However, eventually Deccan Herald began to make profit only in 1956. Guruswamy passed away on 17th June, 1990 and his eldest son K.N Hari Kumar took over from him.
Deccan Herald came into existence just one year after India’s independence and it saw some one of the important developments of democratic India’s leap to the modern age. During India’ Emergency years from 1975 to 1977, Deccan Herald remained a neutral newspaper and remaining independent became the voice of people through its news reporting. It was also witness to the transition of princely state of Mysore to a state in the Indian Union and later formation of Karnataka in the year 1973. It also saw the changing environment of Bengaluru city from a pub city to India’s Silicon Valley.
Besides Bengaluru, Deccan Herald is published from Mangaluru, Mysuru, Hosapete, Davangere, Hubballi and Kalaburgi. It provides the most comprehensive coverage in these areas with its main news segment and supplements. Deccan Herald was the first newspaper from Southern India to publish a colour main edition in 1985. In 1998, the operations of the newspaper shifted to Kumbalgodu from M G Road.
In its 70 years journey Deccan Herald has seen many ups and downs but has relentlessly provided to its readers genuine news of the locality and the world. On April 15, 1996, Deccan Herald started its own website which has a record of 14 million views per month. Because of its popularity in the region and with Bengaluru becoming the fastest growing metropolis in the world, Deccan Herald has today turned up to be one of the most relevant advertising platforms. With a daily circulation of over 2, 53,000 and readership of 5, 60,000, Deccan Herald is on the best means of reaching out to customers for businesses and individuals.
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