As with their traditional newspaper competitors, free dailies are getting hit by tough economic conditions resulting in a drop in advertising revenue and thus also have to trim staffs, notes Grumpy Editor.
Latest to feel the squeeze is Metro International SA, the world’s largest international newspaper. Its various editions --- from Athens to Hong Kong --- are read by 23 million people a day.
Outside of Boston, New York and Philadelphia editions, where the tabloids compete with traditional newspapers, Metro isn’t widely known in the U.S. Its focus is on local happenings, entertainment and large photos.
Registered in Luxembourg and with headquarters in London, Metro publishes more than 70 editions in 23 countries. It claims 74 percent of its readers are under 49 years old and 82 percent are working or studying.
It gets by in the U.S. with a tight staff of about 100 after eliminating 27 in January, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Further expansion in the U.S. probably will be delayed as Metro’s first quarter revenue fell 6.1 percent to $116 million compared with the same period last year.
Metro got a lift in Boston last week when BostonNOW, an almost year-old free daily competitor, folded (see April 16 Grumpy Editor).