24 Hours (newspaper)
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Volume 1, Issue 11 (Montreal) - March 2005
|Type||Free daily newspaper|
|Owner(s)||Postmedia (Toronto, Vancouver)
Quebecor Media (Montreal)
|Language||English and French|
|Headquarters||333 King Street East
M5A 3X5 Canada
24 Hours and 24 Heures (sometimes abbreviated as 24H) is a chain of free daily newspapers published in Canada. A French edition is published in Montreal by Quebecor Media, while two English editions are published in Toronto and Vancouver by Postmedia (acquired from Quebecor in 2015). Editions previously published in Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton ceased publication in 2013.
In 2000, Metro International launched its free daily Metro newspaper in Toronto, eventually expanding with local editions across Canada. In Toronto, the Toronto Sun and Toronto Star scrambled to launch their own free dailies, Sun Media's FYI Toronto and Torstar's GTA Today. In mid-2001, GTA Today had merged with Metro and in October of the same year Sun Media ceased publication of FYI Toronto. However, as the Toronto Sun itself had been largely dependent on sales to commuters the success of Metro ate into its market share and in 2003, Sun Media re-entered the giveaway market with the launch of 24 Hours in Toronto.
The Montreal paper was originally called "Metropolitan" and had a large lowercase "m" as its logo but became 24 Heures in 2005.
On November 14, 2006, 24 Hours launched two new editions in the Ottawa Valley area—an English edition published in Ottawa, and a French edition published in Gatineau. The Gatineau version stopped publishing on May 9, 2008.
The Vancouver edition of 24 Hours was a joint venture of Sun Media and the Jim Pattison Group; Pattison sold his share of the Vancouver edition in 2007.
In fall 2009, 24 Hours and 24 Heures were given an extensive makeover. The paper was given the alternative name 24H; while 24H is short-form for "24 Hours" in French, the name was applied to all editions. The paper's color scheme changed for the Montreal edition, from black and yellow to blue and orange, to match the other editions' colors.
At one point, the family of publications under the 24 Hours / 24 Heures banner had exclusively used a lower case "h" in its name. It is now used interchangeably with an uppercase "h".
As of January 3, 2011, the Montreal edition of 24 H had reached an agreement with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) for exclusive distribution in the underground Montreal métro network, replacing the Metro newspaper.
Most 24 Hours are published 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) in a 460 mm × 282 mm compact format that is smaller than a tabloid (about 58% the size of a tabloid). Because its target readers are commuters heading to work, it is not published on weekends or statutory holidays, although the Vancouver edition previously provided a digital "Online Weekend Edition". Vancouver 24 Hours' print publication measures 270 mm x 330 mm, which is slightly smaller than other markets. The paper averages about 32 pages in an issue, slightly less than half being news, and relies heavily upon wire services such as Reuters, the Canadian Press and the Associated Press. The rest of the pages cover lifestyle, travel, entertainment, sports, and the like.
Exact copies of most editions are also available on their official web site. Vancouver and Montreal both operate full websites. Vancouver 24 Hours presents a wide variety of videos and podcasts. In total Vancouver 24 Hours independent news room accounts for c. 50% of the news content in the day to day publications. The Montreal edition also includes a weekly entertainment insert, ici Week-end; until April 30, 2009, ici was its own publication, distributed separately.
24 Hours' primary national competition is the free paper Metro. P.J. Harston was the founding editor-in-chief of both 24 Hours and Metro.