Saturday, March 24, 2007

Growth of free dailies halts in Toronto

Perhaps there's a saturation point for how many free daily newspapers a city can support. And perhaps Toronto has reached that point. Grant Robertson, a reporter for the paid Toronto Sun (whose parent company also owns Toronto's "24 Hours"), says readership of the commuter dailies Metro and 24 Hours fell in Toronto in 2006, marking a shift for the segment, which has been the fastest growing in the industry for several years. Metro, which has become the fourth-biggest paper by readership in Canada's largest market, had an 11.7% drop in weekday readers, to 372,800, said Newspaper Audience Databank Inc. Weekday readership of 24 Hours, the fifth-biggest Toronto paper, fell 1.1% to 345,700.