Metro newspaper to expand regional coverage and increase print run

Photo: Filip Rožánek

Metro, the free daily newspaper owned by media group Mafra, has announced plans to expand its regional coverage and increase its print run starting from April 26, 2024. The move comes after the discontinuation of 5plus2, a weekly newspaper also published by Mafra, which ceased operations on April 12, 2024, due to rising costs.

According to the announcement, Metro will take over 5plus2's distribution network, adding 2,200 new distribution points in 950 cities and towns across the Czech Republic. The newspaper's Friday print run is set to increase to approximately 450,000 copies, distributed at 2,850 locations in 1,600 cities and towns.

Metro's Editor-in-Chief, Petr Holeček, stated that the expansion would allow the newspaper to provide "more comprehensive and richer news coverage" to readers throughout the country. However, no specific details were provided regarding the nature of the exclusive reports, analyses, or interviews that the newspaper plans to offer.

In addition to the expanded print edition, Metro will launch a regional news section on its website, where readers can access daily updates from their districts by selecting the appropriate region and district from the navigation menu.

According to data from the readership survey for 2023, Metro's nationwide readership stands at 295,000 readers per issue, with Prague alone accounting for 202,000 readers per issue. The newspaper claims to have become a popular platform for readers to communicate with the city and each other in the capital.

While Metro's expansion plans are ambitious, it remains to be seen whether the newspaper can effectively compete with established regional news outlets and maintain its readership base beyond Prague. The decision to increase print run and distribution points comes at a time when many print media outlets are struggling with declining readership and revenue.

Despite the challenges, Metro has stated that it will continue to be available to all readers free of charge, even with the expanded content and increased print run.

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