The Metro is a free newspaper published in tabloid format in the United Kingdom by DMG Media (part of Daily Mail and General Trust). It is distributed from Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) on many public-transport services in selected urban centres across the United Kingdom, and at other outlets such as cafes, workplaces, bus stops, etc. Distributors have also been employed to hand out copies to pedestrians.
The Metro concept comes from Sweden. Metro International, a different company, launched in the UK in 1999, and, in Newcastle upon Tyne, this company's paper was distributed on the Tyne and Wear Metro system side by side with the Metro of Associated Newspapers (now DMG Media). After battling alongside the Associated Newspapers' version with the same name, Metro International's Metro changed its name to Morning News. However, Morning News was short-lived, being discontinued shortly afterwards (see Metro International). Metro International have had plans to launch a rivalling free evening newspaper in London.
The newspaper was designed to be read on the commute, containing none of the actual content that would feature in non-tabloid newspapers, such as The Times or The Guardian.[dubious– discuss]
The features section contains a mix of articles on travel, homes, style, health, science, and celebrity life, as well as extensive arts coverage and entertainment listings. The puzzles page contains the cartoon stripsNemi (by Lise Myhre), 118 118 (by Clive Collins) (advertisement comic strip), and This Life (by Rick Brookes); astrology readings by Nikki Harper; and Sudoku. Previously, it featured a crossword (in place of the Sudoku puzzle), David J. Bodycombe's Think Tank brainteasers, and a Judge Dredd strip. Since November 2011, it has featured the cartoon strip Learn to Speak Cat (by Anthony Smith).
On 8 July 2009, the online version of Metro was merged with London Lite.
In its first five years, it achieved a readership of over 1 million daily readers, making it the UK's fourth largest daily newspaper, after The Sun, the Daily Mail, and the Daily Mirror. In October 2008, its total certified distribution for that month was 1,361,306. It now prints approximately 1.3m copies daily, and officially has some 3.5m readers, as of March 2010. The WAN-IFRA reported its 2010 circulation as 1,335,000.
Metro Ireland was launched on 10 October 2005, as was Herald AM. Both titles were loss-making, despite a circulation of 145,000 between them in the Greater Dublin Area. The merger of the two titles faced scrutiny by the Competition Authority as the resulting match up drew together IN&M (publishers of the Irish Independent) and The Irish Times (the two Dublin-based broadsheets). On 2 July 2009, it was announced that the two freesheets were to merge, and by 2010 this merger was complete. Publication ceased in December 2014.