Thursday, December 18, 2008

Metro U.S. did better in 2008 than 2007

Has Metro finally found the right formula for U.S. audiences? This year the paper has had a successful redesign and appears to be attracting more mainstream advertisers — major department stores instead of fly-by-night 1-800 ads. Metro is growing its real estate sections at a time when real estate isn't supposed to be doing that well. And Metro seems to have more ads than in the past and probably a higher yield per page.

"Metro U.S.'s performance in 2008 is very promising and has improved a lot compared to 2007," Metro chief executive Per Mikael Jensen (right) told in an e-mail Wednesday. "We really feel that we are embraced by readers and advertisers.

"So whilst everyone else seems to have a hard time, we have seen big improvements," Jensen wrote. "Our base of advertisers and our yield per page has, as you point out, been increasing during the year."

A year ago, there was talk that Metro was going to close or sell its three U.S. editions (New York, Philadephia and Boston). Jensen put the papers on the market, but there were no takers. Of course the financial meltdown has halted all lending for mergers and acquisitions, so even if somebody was interested, they couldn't get the financing.

Now Jensen tells us, "I’m very sure that Metro has a great future in U.S."