An old-fashioned newspaper war broke out on the streets of
Manchester on Friday with the launch of two rival free morning
newspapers, both called Metro.
Manchester Metro News from Guardian Media Group and Metro North West
from Associated Newspapers were rushed out with little advanced planning
in a battle to be first in the market.
Associated bussed in hundreds of people from London and senior directors
from both companies were on the streets handing newspapers to the
Meanwhile, Swedish publisher Modern Times, which pioneered the free
Metro strategy, still covets a move into Manchester and all three
publishers are negotiating with the city’s fragmented transport network
for exclusive distribution rights.
Manchester Metro News, a 32-page colour tabloid, is produced by the
Manchester Evening News team. Friday’s distribution of 25,000 is to be
upped to 50,000 this week.
Advertising will also be sold by the MEN, initially as a package with
the evening title. GMG regional newspapers chief executive Ian Ashcroft
said: ’We haven’t got a ratecard yet. It will depend on demand.
Eventually, we will do readership profiling and have a solid base to
pitch a cost per thousand.’
Metro North West is a localised variant on its London edition but its
title suggests it will also be pitched against Trinity Mirror in
Liverpool and Newsquest in Preston, Bolton and Blackburn.
Ashcroft revealed that GMG had planned to launch in January with a pilot
edition hitting the streets this Wednesday. But he advanced his plans
when, last Wednesday, he heard that Associated intended to bring out its
paper a day earlier. In turn, Associated brought forward its plans to