MEDIA: MANCHESTER TABLOID WARS - AN EXPERT’S VIEW/Manchester has two free tabloids both called Metro. Mike Williams is confused

Metro launches in Manchester, but which Metro do you mean? A newspaper war has broken out in the North-west as Associated Newspapers takes on the Manchester Evening News - and each has launched a free daily morning newspaper in the city. Both are tabloid and, to confuse things further, both are called the Metro.

Metro launches in Manchester, but which Metro do you mean? A

newspaper war has broken out in the North-west as Associated Newspapers

takes on the Manchester Evening News - and each has launched a free

daily morning newspaper in the city. Both are tabloid and, to confuse

things further, both are called the Metro.



Manchester is famous for its football rivalry between United and City,

the red half of the city and the blue half. True to form, Associated has

introduced a blue masthead and the Manchester Evening News a red

one.



The Manchester Evening News version (Manchester Metro News) is giving

away 50,000 copies a day at key commuter points and has already upped

the ante versus Associated by throwing in satchets of coffee, Jaffa

Cakes and Rice Krispie bars. Office workers are hoping that before long

the war will escalate to bacon sandwiches or sausage McMuffins.

Associated’s Metro reader goes hungry.



Manchester Metro News runs to 32 pages with a good blend of national and

local news and includes contributions from local celebrities (’heroes

and villains’) which should help develop loyalty among readers. It

offers a page on business but goes to town on sport, especially

Manchester’s obsession with football.



Associated’s Metro is a slightly bigger package running to 40 pages but

has a greater proportion of display advertising than its competitor.



It is distributing 60,000 copies daily with plans to increase this to

100,000. It has a big section on Going Out, which will be a must for the

22,000 university students living in Manchester. This Metro has more of

a national newspaper editorial feel to it and falls very much in the

mid-market tabloid sector. Associated has established a ten-man

editorial team based in Manchester so a more local flavour is likely to

emerge.



The lawyers are probably going to make the most out of this launch, with

the Manchester Evening News currently trying to prevent Associated using

the name. But with Metro already established in London, it is doubtful

if they will succeed. Distributors are reputedly being paid pounds 10 an

hour so business managers should watch out for workers consistently

arriving late in the morning.



Overall, both publishers have produced good products with significant

editorial differences. Whether anyone will make any money, however, is

debatable.



Mike Williams is managing partner of MediaVest Manchester



METRO NORTH WEST

Publisher Associated Newspapers

Cover price free

Distribution Railway, bus and tram stations

Frequency Daily[

Ad rates full page colour pounds 3,000

Print run Up to 100,000

MANCHESTER METRO NEWS

Publisher Manchester Evening News

Cover price free

Distribution Key commuter points

Frequency Daily

Ad rates full page colour pounds 1,592

Print run 50,000



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