Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Metro CEO still bullish on U.S. market

We caught up with Metro International chief executive Per Mikael Jensen to ask him if he was quoted correctly in the Wall Street Journal where he lamented that his company hadn't started more editions in U.S. markets years ago. Now Metro has its three U.S. papers (New York, Philadelphia and Boston) up for sale.

"I was quoted correctly, but being a journalist myself I know that all you say won't get quoted. So it was a few words out of many that made it to WSJ," said Jensen, who took the top job at the international free daily chain in November. "The context is correct, though. I do believe that Metro should have launched in eight to 12 cities in U.S. much earlier to gain size and national presence. But nobody said it's too late!

"Creating a national network of free papers would also be interesting, attracting those many national advertisers that need
free papers to get in contact with the young, affluent audience that we reach so well north of the border — and in the three cities where we publish," Jensen told "... No single [free-daily] company can claim to be national in the U.S. And that is a huge opportunity for free newspapers and for Metro."

Jensen declined to comment rumors that Metro was leaving the U.S., however. "All I can say is that we are constantly looking for the best options to run our papers. That includes partnerships, JVs (joint ventures) and so on."