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
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.