Metro hits the streets of Saskatoon

Metro boxes can be found blocking sidewalks everywhere.

Metro, a free national daily newspaper that targets transit riders, published its first Saskatoon issue on April 2.

“Saskatoon is the leading market in Canada and population growth and the economic growth indicate that the city is ready for a second [daily] newspaper,” said Steve Shrout, vice president and group publisher for Western Canada at the Metro.

Metro came to Canada 12 years ago and reaches over 1.4 million readers in 11 Canadian cities, now including Saskatoon and Regina. The paper publishes Monday to Friday. It boasts the title of being the Canada’s first national paper to be published in both English and French.

According to their website, Metro is the largest and fastest-growing newspaper in the world, with more than 55 editions published in 24 countries.

Owned by Torstar Corporation, Metro is geared towards active, young people who live within the city. Saskatoon’s demographics, with a growing student population, are the right fit for Metro right now, Shrout said.

Metro prints local articles in first few pages, and features national writers to fill the Canadian, world, sports and entertainment pages.

In addition to the print edition, Metro is available online and through mobile apps for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android.

The distribution method was customized for this particular expansion to complement Saskatoon’s bus transit system, Shrout said.

Green street boxes are spread throughout the city as primary distribution points. Grocery stores, coffee shops and local businesses will also carry copies.

Metro’s income comes primarily from national advertisers. However, the paper will incorporate local clients as well, Shrout said.

Saskatoon is already home to one commuter paper, the Verb, which is distributed predominantly on Saskatoon Transit. Although the two papers differ in terms of content, competition remains in the fight for commuter readership.


Photo: Bryn Becker/The Sheaf