‘Metro’ Reports First Monthly Audit Results

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By: Jennifer Saba

Metro New York, the free commuter paper launched in May, announced the results of its first monthly audit by BPA yesterday. For the month of October, Metro reported an average daily circulation of 303,026. The paper is distributed by hawkers and news racks Monday through Friday.

Henry E. Scott, publisher of Metro New York, explained that BPA auditors visit Metro racks at random periods several times week to conduct an official count.

BPA matches its figures with the numbers given by Metro, which involve the press order that is then handed off to Center City News, a third-party distributor. CCN delivers Metro papers to roughly 225 hawkers that work from 6:30 until 10:00 am and 800 racks throughout New York City. The hawkers then place any left over papers from their shift into the racks. Auditors and the paper count the returns-generally around 4.5% to 6.5%– and subtract from the total press order.

Scott said that Metro’s circulation goal for November is 400,000, and to ramp up for the holidays the paper is putting more hawkers and racks on the streets.

Over at rival amNew York, the other free commuter paper in New York, this one backed by the Tribune Co., Christopher Barnes, general manager, says that his paper is audited quarterly by VAC and CAC. The last audit shows that paper has an average daily circulation or 270,068. The latest report is due in a few weeks. amNew York has 1,100 racks and 195 hawkers in New York.

Metro New York announced in late October that it would start conducing monthly audits with BPA. Johan Hansson, managing director of Metro North America, told E&P the decision was made in response to the circulation problems at Tribune, Belo, and Hollinger International. More than that, however, Hansson said the monthly leap came at the request of advertisers who are asking for more up-to-date data.

amNew York plans to stay with a quarterly audit, according to Barnes.

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