New daily freesheet launches in Dublin

The Metro Herald, a freesheet created by the merger of Herald AM and Metro Ireland, launches today in Dublin.

The paper is jointly owned by Associated Newspapers, The Irish Times and Independent News & Media with each holding a one third stake in the new company.

Sweden’s Metro International, which held a ten per cent share in Metro Ireland, has relinquished its share in the venture.

The plan to merge Dublin’s two freesheets into a single paper was made public by its (then) prospective owners in July last year after months of speculation.

The new paper will be distributed by hand across the Greater Dublin area between 7.00am to 9.30am, Monday to Friday. Distribution is expected to be around 70,000 copies each day.

Steve Auckland, managing director of Associated’s Free Newspaper Division said: “This is a great opportunity for a strong, well funded free newspaper to prosper in Dublin.

“As Metro Herald attracts a young, working audience through its unique distribution model, it will benefit advertisers in providing them with a key platform to reach these young urban consumers.”

Paul Crosbie has been appointed as managing director of the new Metro Herald, having previously held the same position at Metro Ireland.

Peter Webster, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Smurfit Ireland and UK, has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the new venture.

The merger follows reports in the Irish Times early last year suggested INM, which did not break out financial figures for Herald AM while it was in production, incurred annual losses from its freesheet similar to the €11m Metro Ireland lost in 2007. Metro it is thought to have added to those losses in 2008.

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