Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Metro CEO proposes network of free dailies

The head of Metro International, the worldwide free daily chain, tells Reuters that free dailies in the U.S. should consider forming a network for the purpose of attracting ad dollars. Mikael Jensen offered the idea as he announced disappointing quarterly results. Jensen said his chain is looking to grow in Latin America, Asia and Russia, while Western Europe and the United States are ripe for consolidation.

We've got an e-mail into Jensen for comments about his national network. Here's a previous posting on U.S. markets served and unserved by free dailies. Metro is now in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Tribune has free dailies in Chicago and Baltimore. Belo has one in Dallas. There's a solid independent in Denver. Freedom newspapers has one in suburban Phoenix. Poynter has one in St. Pete, Fla. And there's a gaggle of free dailies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sure, none exist in places like Atlanta, Miami, Houston and L.A., but if the network succeeds, those markets could have papers overnight.