Metro rivalry to spread nationwide

The Metro war in Manchester is set to extend to more cities, bringing in other regional publishers and pitching national newspapers against each other in local turf wars.

The Metro war in Manchester is set to extend to more cities,

bringing in other regional publishers and pitching national newspapers

against each other in local turf wars.



The Newcastle Chronicle & Journal and Swedish publisher Modern Times

will go head-to-head in the North-east in the new year, but a bigger

battle is looming in Glasgow.



It now appears that Associated Newspapers intended to launch a Scottish

edition in Glasgow but diverted its attentions to Manchester when it

heard about the launch of the Guardian Media Group’s Manchester Metro

News. But the Glasgow plan looks certain to be dusted off once the

Manchester situation settles down.



This would pitch Associated against Trinity Mirror which owns the Daily

Record, Sunday Mail and a raft of local weeklies. Speculation is that

such a move would provoke Trinity Mirror into retaliating with a

Mirror-produced rival to Metro in London.



Associated has identified Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and York as other

cities on its launch list. A move into Birmingham, where Trinity Mirror

owns the Birmingham Post and Mail, would be similarly provocative.

Regional Independent Media would undoubtedly defend its dominant

position in Yorkshire.



Both Trinity Mirror and Newsquest are monitoring the Manchester

situation closely to see if Associated’s Metro North West expands into

neighbouring territories in Lancashire.



Thinly veiled threats are being made that if Associated oversteps the

mark, regional newspapers, especially those owned by nationals, will

join together and retaliate against the Daily Mail.



Guardian Media Group’s chief executive Ian Ashcroft said: ’The Mail has

a very home counties image and is quite vulnerable in the regions. This

is something that the regionals could exploit.’



Metro deputy managing director Mike Anderson said of his Manchester

rivals: ’They don’t understand. This is a whole new audience.’



See opinion, p12.



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