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.
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.