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May 6, 2004


Is No News Good News?

New York City commuters may have noticed that navigating the streets during rush hour became twice as hard yesterday. In addition to dodging amNew York promoters you値l now need to avoid another newspaper nobody wants, Metro. Metro already exists in three dozen cities worldwide, including Boston and Philadelphia, and this week it enters the New York City market.

The two papers claim not to be competitive with each other, although Metro痴 managing editor, Henry Scott, snips that 菟eople he saw reading amNew York on the subway appeared to be older than those the paper (and its advertisers) are seeking.�

That痴 very interesting, considering this enthusiastic reader testimonial in today痴 Metro:

的 like the small size, it痴 not one of those big papers you have to pull open,� said Chris, a 36-year-old federal government worker who declined to give his last name. [Metro痴 demographic is 18 � 34]

This reporter also noticed that amNew York heavily staffs the Times Square and Union Square subway stations (younger commuters), while Metro has promoters camped out at every entrance to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (older, suburban commuters). I took an informal count on my own morning commute of how many folks were reading either paper (0) versus how many copies of each publication were littering the ground around the station entrances (amNew York, 4621, Metro, 2586).

Scott claims in a fit of wild hubris that Metro痴 real competitors are the Daily News and the Post, without realizing that those two publications have something the free dailies don稚: content.

Neither company seems to realize the fundamental flaw in their business plan � they are offering a service that no one wants. The 18 � 34 demographic are getting their regurgitated AP stories from Yahoo! News, reading legitimate news sources online, and using that valuable subway ride to knit kicky hats or play with their iPods.

categories: Business, Media, NYC
posted by Emily at 12:29 PM | #