Readers who are used to picking up their Metro freepaper in Toronto Transit Commission stations will be finding 24 Hrs in its place, starting next month. According to a Globe and Mail story, Postmedia outbid Torstar for the three-year contract to stock 24 Hrs in Gateway Newsstands at more than 90 TTC and GO Transit stations. Metro, whose daily circulation has been about 500,000 copies will still be available in boxes outside of the stations. 24 Hrs says it expects its 245,000 circ boosted by up to 35,000 by the preferred placement.
Craig Barnard, senior vice president of reader sales and service for Postmedia Network Inc. said “In the underground, at the Gateway stores, right at the trains and so on is a more beneficial distribution network, in our opinion.”
“For 24 Hrs, it's an opportunity to re-establish itself in a strong way. And at the same time I think Metro … will be very capable of maintaining its brand without the distribution in the subway,” said Bill McDonald, the former president of Metro English Canada. “Overall, I think it could have a very positive impact on the free daily category in the Toronto market. And we could even see overall growth in readership.”Postmedia acquired 24 Hrs as part of a deal in April by which it took over Sun Media Corp.'s English language publications. Metro English Canada had for many years had right on first refusal on the distribution contract. This year it was outbid by Postmedia when Gateway Newsstands issued a request for proposals.