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
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
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
Mike Williams is managing partner of MediaVest Manchester
METRO NORTH WEST
Publisher Associated Newspapers
Cover price free
Distribution Railway, bus and tram stations
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
Ad rates full page colour pounds 1,592
Print run 50,000