Interesting story in the CS Monitor:
Since starting college three years ago, Katherine Toy has developed a new habit: reading a daily newspaper. But the paper that has become her regular companion on the Boston subway isn’t a traditional daily. For one, the Boston Metro doesn’t have the wingspan of a broadsheet. Its stories, mostly wire copy, follow the Sgt. Joe Friday School of Journalism (“just the facts, ma’am”) by providing succinct summaries of the news. Most significant, the tabloid is free, given away at the city’s “T” stations.
“There are Metro men everywhere passing out newspapers,” says the ski-jacketed Ms. Toy, huddled inside a subway car. “You don’t even have to look for it – they find me.”
That’s no coincidence. The student represents a prize demographic for newspapers: the 18- to 30-year-old set. This group is also least likely to pay for news, accustomed to getting timely information for free from the Internet or TV. The Metro, an international franchise that has also taken root in Philadelphia and New York, has discovered that it can reach this age group with a fresh-format freebie.
Older newspapers, faced with declining circulation, are now jumping into the fray. The New York Times Co., which owns The Boston Globe, recently declared its intention to buy a 49 percent stake in the Boston Metro. Several metropolitan dailies, including The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune, have already created their own spin-off freebies.
Last week, the Knight Ridder newspaper corporation announced that it, too, may launch a free daily. In each instance, the companies hope to nurture a future demand for their flagship publications by getting the iPod generation accustomed to a newspaper.
Information wants to be free.
The New York Times Co., which owns The Boston Globe, recently declared its intention to buy a 49 percent stake in the Boston Metro
But….but….isn’t the Times the 1st to bitch that Murdoch and ClearChannel own too many media outlets???