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 t0 50,000 by the end of the year according to Ghafla! that also states that it wanst to compete in circulation with the two leading papers in Kenya: Nation and 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

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.


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,, 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 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.

Heute (Austria) reaches 4 million online users

April 20th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 13.56.23Austrian free daily Heute saw its online reach increase with 12% compared to March 2013.

Accoding to Österreichische Web-Analyse (ÖWA) reached Heute in Marchz 2014 4.,056,000 Unique users, an increase of 120 % compared to last year.

Heute has 6 different portals (see right): news, tv & cinema, tickets & events, fitness, a “Groupon” like portal and health. (OTS)

Loses for 20 Minutes France and 20 Minutos Spain

April 11th, 2014

The annual report 2013 of Norwegian mediahouse Schibsted revealed that the 20 Minutes operations in Spain and France are still losing money.

In 2013 this amounted to 37 million NOK (€4.5 million), thanks to cost cutting this was les than in 2013 (48 million NOK).

In Spain the economic situation is still a major problem, 20 Minutos is still the market leader in newspapers.

In France there is fierce competition between three free dailies: 20 Minutes, Metro and DirectMatin. Publishers are thinking about merging titles.

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