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Metro is a glossy monthly lifestyle magazine published in New Zealand by ACP Media. It has a strong focus on the city of Auckland, with reportage of issues and society. The magazine was first published independently by Warwick Roger and Bruce Palmer.
The timing of Metro's launch coincided with the rapid expansion of the New Zealand economy that occurred from 1984, following the election of the Fourth Labour Government, who implemented widespread neoliberal deregulation and economic reform. The increased access to imported luxury goods made Metro magazine an attractive media environment for advertisers.
Metro magazine's success led to the launch of a sister title North & South, edited by Robyn Langwell. This publication took a wider look at New Zealand regional stories. Langwell was editor of North & South until June 2007. A third title, women's interest magazine More, was launched before the stable was bought by ACP Media, an Australian publishing consortium.
Both Metro and North & South have won awards for publishing and journalism and Metro, in particular, has been well known for its standard of photography and design under art directors William Chen and Jenny Nicholls. This tradition is still strong, with Metro winning Best Art Director (Charlie McKay) at the 2010 Qantas Media Awards.
Metros fortunes have varied since Warwick Roger gave up the editor's chair. The appointment of Bill Ralston saw dramatic shifts in the magazine's editorial focus away from the rigor of Roger's style to a more flamboyant, celebrity style format. Sales were disappointing and a period of decline followed.
The magazine was relaunched as a large format glossy title while led by Nicola Legat, a long-time contributing journalist. The changes were intended to reverse the decline of sales and readership. At its peak Metro sold 40,000 copies but this had fallen to less than 20,000. During this period the society scandal column Felicity Ferret was dropped from Metro's pages. The Ferret briefly returned to the pages of Metro in 2009.
In 2005, Legat left the magazine to join publishing company Random House. She was replaced by Lauren Quaintance, a former North & South writer, who oversaw a 5 per cent increase in circulation. However, Quaintance left in June 2007 to return to the Sydney Morning Herald and the long-serving deputy Bevan Rapson was appointed acting editor.
A makeover in 2009 saw Metro changed to a smaller size, and the incorporation of Citymix magazine within its pages.
In mid-2010, Rapson was replaced as editor by Simon Wilson, a Metro senior writer and former editor of Cuisine and Consumer, the magazine published by the Consumers' Institute of New Zealand. In 2010, Wilson oversaw a 25 per cent increase in Metro's readership, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Metro won a number of 2010 Qantas Media Awards:
- Best Magazine Feature Writer Simon Wilson,
- Best Magazine Designer Charlie McKay,
- Senior Magazine Feature Writer (Politics) Simon Wilson,
- Senior Magazine Feature Writer (Arts & Entertainment) Simon Wilson.