METRO: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Anna Griffiths is impressed by the content of Metro, the free daily from Associated

Associated Newspaper’s freebie title, Metro, which launched last week, is gradually ingratiating itself with London commuters. I have spotted quite a few people reading it on the way to work, although I’ve had to rely on my colleagues for a copy, since I can’t seem to find one myself.

Associated Newspaper’s freebie title, Metro, which launched last

week, is gradually ingratiating itself with London commuters. I have

spotted quite a few people reading it on the way to work, although I’ve

had to rely on my colleagues for a copy, since I can’t seem to find one

myself.



It is very readable, despite the unfortunate front-page design. Metro is

a great name for a London newspaper, but the blue logo and blue-tinted

screamers risk downplaying the package.



Friday’s edition had a great story on the Dome ticket price row, as well

as celeb gossip on Calista (Ally McBeal) Flockhart’s new love who she

met in London last year. The column, If I Ruled London, was a bit glib,

and Amanda Craig’s ideas didn’t endear her to me.



But Metro has lots of useful local info, a crossword and plenty of

sports coverage, although the business news page is rather pitiful.

There are loads of ads in the title, which makes you feel that it

intends to stick around and it’s a good cross-sell for Associated. Its

43 pages could take longer than 15 minutes to read but given tube

delays, that’s probably just as well.



Metro works for me because I often don’t have time to buy a newspaper on

the way to work and, instead, have to watch the antics of indignant

Kensington ladies, grumpy mothers and surly London Transport staff. And

the FT doesn’t have any frippery.



But I do wonder whether it will erode morning newspaper sales, as well

as those of the Evening Standard. It’s a risky game for Associated, with

News International said to be waiting in the wings, ready with its own

version if Metro proves successful. That could spark a bloody

circulation war. Still, for the moment, commuters are getting something

for nothing - and that’s a pleasant change.



Anna Griffiths is a hardened Thameslink commuter.



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