Malayala Manorama has a circulation of over 2.4 million copies daily and a readership of 20 million making it the 14th most circulated newspaper in the world and the 3rd largest circulated newspaper in India. Based in Kottayam, Kerala, Malayala Manorama is the second oldest Malayalam newspaper still in circulation.
Kandathil Varghese Mappillai, founded the Malayala Manorama stock publishing group on 14th March, 1888 and on 22nd March, 1890, he brought out the first edition of Malayala Manorama newspaper. Malayala Manorama newspaper belongs to the Malayala Manorama Company which is owned by the descendants, and the extended family of Kandathil Varghese Mappillai.
The newspaper started printing with a Hopkinson and Cope press imported from London for which the Malayalam types were made by Konthi Achari, a local craftsman. The first editor of Malayala Manorama was Kandathil Varghese Mappillai and he made the newspaper secular at the time when newspapers were brought out in Kerala only by the Church. The logo of Malayala Manorama newspaper which is a modified version of the Travancore State’s coat of arms was approved by the Maharaja of Travancore, Sir Mulam Thirunal Rama Varma VI.
Originally, Malayala Manorama published just as a four page weekly newspaper only on Saturdays. In 1901, it began to be published bi-weekly and by 1918 it became a tri-weekly newspaper. Malayala Manorama became a daily Malayalam newspaper on 2nd July 1928.
In 1938, due to charges brought by the Travancore State against some news publishing, Malayala Manorama was stopped but it again restarted in 1947 under K.C Mammen Mappillai who earlier in 1904 took over Kandathil Varghese Mappillai as editor.
After India’s independence, in late 1950s, Malayala Manorama began to establish itself as one of the prominent regional daily with steady increase in circulation overtaking other Malayalam dailies in Kerala. At that time, Malayala Manorama published only from Kottayam with a circulation of over 28 thousand copies. With the increase in competition, there was extreme eagerness to increase circulation and readership. Under Editor K.M Cheriyan, there was a run-up for faster equipment and national advertising from major companies. Malayala Manorama established its printing centre at Kozhikode in 1966 and offset press at Kottayam. Due to this expansion it became the leading Malayalam daily in Kerala by 1970, with a circulation of over 300,000.
The 1980s saw restructuring of the organisation under the helm of K. M. Mathew who took charge in 1973. With better journalism, professional training and better technology, Malayala Manorama brought in a modern look to their newspaper. New edition of Trivandrum was launched in 1987. By 1998, the circulation of Malayala Manorama reached 1 million copies and by 2000 Middle East editions were launched focusing on Malayali diasporas in the region. By the year 2007, Malayala Manorama became the only non-Hindi non-English newspaper in India to cross 1.5 million copies in circulation. In 2010, Mammen Mathew succeeded K. M. Mathew as the new editor of Malayala Manorama.
Since the 1960s, Malayala Manorama focussed on advertising to keep up with the competitive market and with time this strategy along with others has made it one of the most successful newspapers in India. Today, being one of the leading publications in Kerala, advertising in Malayala Manorama newspaper is the best way to reach out to the local masses.
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