Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Metro gives New York publisher the boot

The New York Post is reporting that Daniel Magnus, Metro New York publisher for the past two years, was shown the door yesterday. A day earlier, Stuart Lane exited as publisher of Metro Boston, though he disputes the claim that he was fired. Also, Metro is laying off workers at its employees as the investment banking firm Lazard Freres shops Metro's three U.S. papers around to potential buyers. The cuts could be an attempt to clean up the balance sheets of the papers to make them more attractive to buyers.

Meanwhile, the media blog fishbowlNY is asking its readers how they would "salvage the troubled" Metro chain.

Fishbowl also quotes Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News as saying the people in his newsroom don't even bother reading Metro's Philadelphia edition.
    "... That shows the extent to which we never saw it as a journalistic competitor, just a business competitor. That said, the fact they make money elsewhere but not in Philadelphia (or New York or Boston) surprises me; we have a working-class audience and a fair amount of mass transit ridership. Perhaps the market is too divided -- there are two good free weeklies here and the Daily News does a pretty good job retaining people willing to lay out 60 cents. I'm surprised Philip Anschutz isn't interested, since he seemed like a natural. I think Brian Tierney and Philadelphia Media Holdings is too focused on upgradhing the Inquirer and Daily News to fool with this, so I don't know...I think they will find it very difficult to find a Philadelphia buyer, especially when they couldn't make it work with a formula that's been successful elsewhere."