Metro New York To Launch New Web Site

Two free New York City tabloids have a new turf war: the Web.

Metro New York is creating a new Web site to counter its Tribune-owned rival, amNew York, which inherited the site of New York Newsday, according to The New York Times. The Web strategy is relatively new for Metro New York, which began distributing free print dailies to commuters a few years ago and now has an average daily circulation of 310,000.

Metro New York and amNew York are competing on two fronts: with each other as well as New York's paid tabloids. To grab readers, they are rolling out new features, including content and advertising partnerships. Such partnerships are critical to the free dailies, which do little original reporting and maintain small sales staffs.

In September 2006, Metro New York partnered with The New York Times to display classified ads. As part of the deal, individuals placing ads in the Times for recruitment, real estate, automotive and general merchandise categories are able to upgrade to dual placement in Metro for an extra discounted fee. These classified ads bear the Times brand. Classified ads that are slated to appear in the Sunday edition of the Times run in Metro on Friday--meaning that the free daily's readers will see them two days before the Times' readers.

In December, Metro introduced financial news from Bloomberg and an exclusive Bloomberg graphic highlighting financial and market data. The new layout also offered more prominent positioning of ads.

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