Distribution of free morning paper Metro is expected to push above the million mark next week as it launches two new editions.
This week Metro launched in the East Midlands (Leicester, Nottingham and Derby) and next week the Bristol edition starts printing (incorporating Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester).
The new titles will carry almost identical news content to existing Metro editions elsewhere in the country.
Five journalists will be employed locally (including two subs) to produce the Metro Life section which includes listings, leisure and reviews.
Metro is part of Daily Mail and General Trust group and it is being printed and distributed in the new areas by the company’s regional newspaper division Northcliffe.
The East Midlands edition is expected to have a distribution of 60,000 copies and the Bristol version 30,000.
Northcliffe already publishes daily evening papers in the new Metro areas: Bristol Evening Post, Nottingham Evening Post and Leicester Mercury.
The paper will be available between 6.30am and 9.30am at distribution points including buses, trains and tram stops.
Copies will also be available from a branded Mini driving around the city centres and delivered directly to offices and coffee shops.
Metro was launched in London in March 1999, inspired by the success of Metro International – a free newspaper started in Stockholm – which now has 26 editions around the world.
Metro is published through franchise arrangements with local newspaper companies who print, distribute it and sell local advertising.
The franchisees are: Trinity Mirror in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Newcastle; Guardian Media Group in Manchester and Johnston Press in Leeds and Sheffield.
Metro director of partners Liza Wooderson said: “We are delighted to be launching these new editions in Bristol and the East Midlands.
“Our research has shown that these regions have a high proportion of urbanites who will really value the unbiased, no-spin news in Metro and make full use of its local entertainment and listings information.”
Wooderson said no more Metro launches were currently in the pipeline for elsewhere in the UK.
Last year Metro moved into profit for the first time. According to DMGT’s annual report sales of display advertising were up 28 per cent.
By Dominic Ponsford