Monday, April 21, 2008

Free-Dailies Publisher Metro Feels Pinch

One of the last bright spots in the newspaper industry -- the free daily -- is hurting, too.

Metro International SA, the pioneer and biggest publisher of free daily papers around the world, said revenue fell 6.1% to €73.4 million, or $116 million, in the first quarter from a year earlier.

The company, which has a daily circulation of 23 million copies in 23 countries, was hit by problems like those facing traditional newspapers: a drop in advertising revenue and competition from other free papers.

So, like traditional newspapers, Metro is cutting jobs, shuttering some papers, and planning to boost its online operations. Last month, it launched a Metro Internet site, which it hopes will generate online advertising.

"The U.S. market is probably the worst it has been since the 1930s for media companies," Metro Chief Executive Per Mikael Jensen said in an interview Monday. [Click for MORE]

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