Friday, October 24, 2003

NY Times profiles amNewYork's Pergament

If you missed it, pick up today's NY Times or follow this link for a profile of Russel Pergament, who has emerged as a giant in the free daily industry. He built a chain of successful Boston suburban weeklies, then started Boston Metro and now is the driving force behind amNew York. How did he get his latest job? Like a true salesman, he did it with a cold call to the Tribune Co. And the article confirmed a rumor we heard a month ago — he's a shareholder in amNew York. He got Tribune to give him a piece of the action.

Friday, October 10, 2003

New York gets first free daily

We're not sure why it took so long, but we can report today that New York now has its first free daily — amNewYork (all one word with "am" lower case with no periods or spaces). This paper comes decades after America's first free dailies and months or years after commuter free dailies in Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto.

With an initial circulation of 150,000 copies, hawkers will distribute amNewYork at subway stations and on the streets. It will provide a free alternative to the paid NY Post and NY Daily News.

The new paper is a branch of Newsday on Long Island, which started a New York City edition in 1985. While it was praised for its editorial quality, which was regarded as a notch above the Daily News and Post, it lost money. New York Newsday closed in 1995. Newsday and amNew York are owned by the Tribune Co., which also has an independent TV station in New York (WPIX 11). It is rumored that amNew York has some employees who hold small shares of the new paper, but Free-Daily wasn't able to confirm that report.

The publisher of amNew York is Russel Pergament, who quit the same position at Boston Metro in June. Pergament was the driving force behind that edition of Metro and is considered to be an excellent salesman.