Monday, May 29, 2006

Free daily starts in Manchester, New Hampshire

The slogan of New Hampshire is "Live Free or Die." Now Manchester, N.H., has a daily that's free. The Manchester Daily Express began May 22 and will publish five days a week. Owned by the same local company that has a free arts and entertainment weekly, the paper's goal is to sell affordable advertising to small mom-and-pop businesses who can't afford the rates of the city's main paper, the Manchester Union Leader, or the community's radio and TV stations. (Where have we heard that before? Palo Alto?)

Daily Express Publisher Jody Reese, 32, said, "There is no Manchester daily paper right now ... There's a statewide paper that has an office in Manchester, but there's no one doing city politics or doing a good job covering business. We have three major high schools in the city, and they get very cursory coverage right now." Reese used to work at the Union Leader.

Talk about dropping a gauntlet. Union Leader Publisher Joe McQuaid called Reese's accusation "nonsense" and said his paper's coverage was "second to none, and it will continue to be so." Asked by the Concord Monitor to be more specific, and McQuaid said, "My words will have to speak for themselves. I'm not about to explain to the Concord Monitor exactly what we intend to do."

The Daily Express calls itself a free 20-minute read but aims to be hard-hitting.

The Daily Express will run opinion columns, but Reese said the Daily Express would not stake out a particular political stance.

The Daily Express will have an initial press run of 3,000 and a staff of two reporters and an editor.

Concord Monitor: Manchester's second daily paper debuts

E&P: Free Daily To Appear in Manchester, N.H., on Monday

AP: New Hampshire woke up to a new daily newspaper Monday.

Manchester Daily Express Web site