Métro goes back in the metro

Métro newspaper stands in 2010.

Métro newspaper stands in 2010.

Remember these? They’re coming back.

Well, not exactly. The new stands will be green and grey.

Métro, the free newspaper owned by TC Media, announced today it has signed a five-year deal with the STM to once again become the exclusive newspaper of the Montreal metro system, as of Feb. 1. It replaces 24 Heures, which stole the contract from Métro five years ago.

The deal with 24 Heures was for five years but included a five-year renewal option. It seems Métro’s offer was good enough for the STM to decline that option (or 24 Heures decided it could no longer afford the cost).

The deal also means that the Info STM page will return to Métro from 24 Heures.

The STM refuses to say how much Métro is paying it for this exclusive contract, or whether it’s more or less than what 24 Heures paid for it. (The press release notes that there were two bids.)

Comme il s’agit d’une entente de nature commerciale entre la filiale commerciale de la STM (Transgesco s.e.c.) et un partenaire privé (Transcontinental), les détails de cette entente ne sont pas de nature publique. Il en est de même pour l’entente précédente avec le journal 24 h.
— Isabelle Tremblay, STM

The deal is actually signed with Transgesco, a commercial subsidiary of the STM that deals with advertising and other commercial revenue. Though we know how much Transgesco gives to the STM each year (about $30 million), we don’t know how that breaks down in terms of revenues for the paper contract, metro and outdoor shelter advertising and other revenues.

metro-dans-le-metro

Despite getting the metro contract for 2011-15, the Quebecor-owned free paper lagged behind its competitor in terms of readership, according to figures from NADbank (now Vividata). The latest data show Métro with 446,000 print readers for the average issue, compared with 414,000 for 24 Heures. Maybe this means the deal doesn’t mean that much, because both papers are given out by human distributors outside metro stations during the morning rush hour. Or maybe it means that readers still prefer Métro, regardless of how they get it.

In addition to the 320 stands in the metro system, Métro has about 1,000 other stands, including in AMT train stations.

20 thoughts on “Métro goes back in the metro

  1. S.F

    Of Course, the Metro newspaper would be nice if it was bilingual – but hey we are in Quebec and the Anglophones have little rights here.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Of Course, the Metro newspaper would be nice if it was bilingual – but hey we are in Quebec and the Anglophones have little rights here.

      Yes, it is strange that we don’t have a constitutional right to force a private newspaper to publish in a language it doesn’t want to.

      Reply
      1. mdblog

        Yes, this constitutional right to force private enterprise to print in a language it doesn’t want to applies only to commercial signage, product documentation (including restaurant menus), and the plastic spoons you get at Menchies.

        Reply
      1. Michael Black

        Or The Gazette?

        I’m not dismissing The Gazette, but time was that a newspaper subscription was pretty normal. And once read, cleaning windows is one secondary use.

        One of the great jokes of the internet age is that so many things need high speed to be viable, so money spent on high speed internet has to come out of some other spending. Which probably hits newspaper subscriptions. It may even reinforce the notion that “news should be free”, since people are paying a lot for the delivery of that news. Except, it goes elsewhere, not to the Gazette delivery person.

        Michael

        Reply
  2. Mario D.

    Metro and 24 heures are the main reasons that i shed no tear when the newspaper industry goes through what it has to go through right now. It is a harsh judgment i know but they kinda looked for it…
    Not only are they slow to get on the web train but also they gave way to that generation that thinks everything is free. Giving away those papers makes people think that it should be free. They do not care about the news in there being old stuff ,they just know that they should not pay for la Presse or the Gazette print edition .
    In a way, the employees of those big corps are forced to work on a product that one day will cost them their livelihood…sad…

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Metro and 24 heures are the main reasons that i shed no tear when the newspaper industry goes through what it has to go through right now. It is a harsh judgment i know but they kinda looked for it…

      Why would La Presse and the Gazette be responsible for the activities of Metro and 24 Heures?

      Reply
      1. Mario D.

        I probably should have written about the industry instead of naming brand names… It s just that while some claim tough times and job losses, others give away their products..something that does not make sense…

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          others give away their products..something that does not make sense…

          It does if you remember that for Metro and 24 Heures, their product isn’t news. Their product is advertising. News is just how they get those ads in front of people’s eyes.

          Reply
          1. Mario D.

            Seen from your side of the street being in the medias what you are saying makes sense but from the reader s point of view those are newpapers and they give no importance to the ads side of things. Why should i buy when they give it away ?

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              Why should i buy when they give it away ?

              If you see no difference between the content of Metro, 24 Heures, the Gazette and Le Devoir, then sure, pick up the free papers and don’t subscribe to the pay ones.

              Reply
  3. Brett

    If Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver can have their own papers it makes you wonder why Montreal can’t get an English version.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      If Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver can have their own papers it makes you wonder why Montreal can’t get an English version.

      After failed attempts at editions in cities like London and Saskatoon, Metro Canada is probably not eager to launch a third free daily in Montreal.

      Reply
      1. Pefder Magfrok

        This does not need to be a separate edition of the paper. There could be an english insert in the middle of the paper, upside down if necessary (one western quebec paper does this). Metro Canada’s sophisticated printing and distribution systems (the miracle of modern logistics) can put the insert in papers going only to english parts of town. Metro has lots of english content from other locales if just translating quebec news and its unique star system is too costly. It is about time we got a bilingual paper in this town. Go Metro! Go advertisers!

        Reply
  4. Yuck

    Garbage and clutter in the subway. Giving out this free crap in the subway simply encourages the stores in the metro stations not to sell Montreal’s real newspapers ( Gazette, Devoir, J de Mtl ) for sale. Nice going STM. Let’s help kill the newspapers that might expose what is really going on with the STM in favour of a free mouth piece.

    Reply
  5. Patrick

    More paper? Really? Only time I see those papers is only the floors, jamming the escalators or on the seats. You’d think they hurry up and get the cell network up faster rather than invest in more waste. Sheesh.

    Reply
      1. Patrick

        ANY paper, whether continuation of an old service or the start of a new service means more paper. I’m surprised that printed daily materials are even allowed anymore. I’d love to see daily papers and the PubliSac garbage go the way of the dodo.

        Reply

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