DMC

Metro US acquires Philadelphia City Paper

August 15th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 14.59.10Metro US, operating three editions in the USA: Philadelphia, New York and Boston, has bought the alternative free weekly Philadelphia City Paper from its owner, the Rock family.

The Philadelphia City Paper was founded 32 years ago, Metro Philadelphia started in 2000 as the first US edition. It is no longer aprt of the Metro International group but operated as a franchise.

The City Paper will continue as a separate editorial operation.

The two publications jointly reach over 840,000 Philadelphians every week and deliver to the most attractive and vibrant audience in Philadelphia. (Businesswire)

Second Kenya free daily within 6 months

July 29th, 2014

people-daily_2014A few months after the launch of XNEWS, the first Kenyan free daily (see previous post), a second free newspaper entered the scene: People Daily.

This paper was formerly the paid The People newspaper while claims to be the first ‘national’ free daily – as XNEWS is only distributed in Nairobi.

The paper is published by Mediamax Network Ltd. (founded in 2009), a media firm active in radio and TV.

Mediamax is a media company associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta according to allAfrica. This website quotes Aly-Khan Satchu, chief executive officer of Nairobi-based Rich Management Ltd.:

“The owners have deep pockets and possess political raison d’etre, and most probably the goal is to give the allies of the president a platform that can reach the masses”

People Daily wants to compete the Daily Nation (circulation around 170,000) and The Standard (48,000), it claims to distribute 110,000 copies.

Free daily newspapers have been scarce in sub-Sahara Africa, only South-Africa had some titles a few years ago. Also a government-owned free daily is published in Botswana. Free weeklies are more common.

Bill McDonald leaves Metro Canada

July 28th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 13.40.11As parent company Torstar Corp. is integrating free Metro with its other print operations of the Star Media Group, president and publisher Bill McDonald will leave the company.

McDonald held the position since 2010, he started in 2006 at Metro.

These things are always a little bittersweet,I look back fondly on the last eight plus years” he told the Globe and Mail.

Jeremy Bryant left Metro

July 28th, 2014

jeremyOne of the ‘oldest’ Metro-people – allthough still young – has left Metro International.

Jeremy Bryant has worked on all kinds of project at Metro. He worked miracles at distribution and launching new editions all over the world, and was involved in all kinds of commercial and marketing projects as well. his latest job was Vice President Global Marketing and Logistics.

Bryant worked at more than a dozen countries for Metro (and was an exremely nice guy as well, and someone to have a drink with!)

At his new website his jobs, projects and positions are listed.

Also Maggie Samways, Executive Vice President left Metro.

XNEWS Nairobi

July 27th, 2014

xnews_nairobi_2014Free paper XNEWS in the Kenian capital Nairobi is now published for almost 6 months. It was launched on March 30 of this year.

The paper is published in the afternoons, five days a week, and usually counts 16 pages.

XNews has a circulation of 25,000 to 35,000 copies and wants to expand that to 50,000 by the end of the year according to Ghafla! that also states that it wants to compete in circulation with the two leading papers in Kenya: Nation and The Standard.

Publisher is Paul Marshall; Neema Wamae (formerly working for Nation and The Standard) is the commercial director while Brian Moseti (formerly The Standard) is editor (Newslineafrica).

E-papers can be viewed on Issuu.com.

Dutch free daily Spits closes

July 18th, 2014

In October Dutch free daily Spits will close after more than 15 years. Some of the contents will be merged into competitor Metro, also owned by Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG).

Metro and Spits both were launched on June 21 1999.

After TMG bought Metro in 2012, it tried to target the two titles at different audiences. Metro would be more ‘newsy’ and serious, aimed at a somewhat more mature audience; Spits would contain more sports and entertainment and target a younger audience.

As distribution was still at the same places (public transport mostly) this strategy did not work out. Spits had also troubles because it was forced to close already at 21.00 every night, so it missed some of the sports news.

TMG has a franchise contract with Metro International so closing Metro would result in a fine for TMG.

At the same time the publisher combined distribution, sales and the editorial departments – the two brands had one editor in chief.

Apparentely the move has not succeeded, Metro is going to be the only remaining free paper, following a trend visible in other European countries where competition is substituted by monopoly.

The website of Spits will remain.

TMG says it will increase the circulation to more than 500.000 in 2015.

metro_spits_1999_2015

Soccer fever hits Belgium: Metro carries national colors

June 17th, 2014

Metro vlagThe soccer World Championship is celebrates by most free dalies in the countries that participate. On this Pinterst page some examples are collected.

The Belgium Metro does ad an extra gimmick. On every day the Belgium team plays (three day at least, starting today), all Metro will have the national flag painted on the outside fold.

This is best seen when they are stacked in their boxes.

On the Pinterst site the Dutch and French language papers are also pictured in the front view.

The e-papers can be read here.

French free dailies confirm negotiations

May 29th, 2014

20minutes_grenoble_2013Olivier Bonsart, director of French free daily 20 Minutes (Schibsted and Sipa-Ouest France) not only thinks that there are toon many free dailies in France, he is also talking with his colleagues from Metro (owned by TF1) and Direct Matin (Bolloré and local publishers) about merging operations.

Bonsart confirmed this at a press conference. There is nothing decided yet but there a official talks between the owners.

The three dailies had losses of 18 million in 2013. The situation with three dailies in one country, each with a national coverage, is unique in Europe.

In June or the beginning of July 20 Minutes will also launch a new website. (CB News)

Metro UK loses digital readership

May 26th, 2014

The integration of the Metro UK digital brand into the digital operation of the Daily Mail (see previous post) has not paid off in terms of more visitors.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Metro reported a 15% fall in monthly unique browsers in April.

The number of monthly visitors is now 23 million, stil an impresive number, sverage daily browsers fell 10% to just over one million.

London Evening Standard’s site, Standard.co.uk, saw monthly traffic grow to 5 million. Daily average browsers rose to 236,689. (The Guardian)

Slovenian free daily Zurnal24 will close

May 11th, 2014

After 7 years the curtain falls for free daily Zurnal24 in Slovenia. The paper was launched in the fall of 2007 in 5 editions: Lubliana, Primorska, Gorenjska, Dolenjska en Stajerska.

zurnal24 copy

The paper, owned by Austrian media group Styria, had a circulation of more than 100,000 and claimed a daily readerhip of 239,000. Also the weekly Zurnal and the website zurnal24.si will close down.

The owner says that it has not succeeded in making the papers profitable. And with the weak economy they don’t expect that it wil be profitable in the near future.

Around 50 people will be affected by the closure.

Austrian newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung wrote that the papers made several millions of losses every year, in total more than € 40 million.