`Guardian' and `Mail' start tabloid war on streets of Manchester

MANCUNIANS HAVE not been treated to their own morning paper for 40 years. Yesterday they were confronted with two on the same day as they found themselves at the centre of a free-tabloid battle.

The Guardian Media Group, publishers of the Manchester Evening News, brought out Manchester MetroNews, while Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, countered with Metro North-West. The Manchester Guardian, in 1959, was the last morning title with the city's name on its masthead.

Yesterday the new colour tabloids were distributed on Manchester's bus, rail and tram network and on the streets. Associated Newspapers is also responsible for the Metro free title handed out to London commuters.

Guardian Media said it had intended publishing the first of five test editions yesterday before a launch in January but was forced into full publication after news of Metro North-West's launch slipped out on Wednesday. "We had not anticipated them coming in as they did," said the Manchester Evening News managing director, Ian Ashcroft.

Both new papers will publish every weekday. Manchester MetroNews is produced at the Manchester Evening News offices, where 15 production journalists have been recruited. Metro North-West will be brought out by an editorial and advertising staff of 25 at Associated's Manchester offices.

If the first day's contest is anything to go by, Guardian Media must be hoping local news is the main attraction. Though both papers made the Irish peace process their lead story, Manchester MetroNews ran a column of brief Northern stories on its front page and included considerable local news inside. Metro North-West, a near-replica of the London Metro, carried almost exclusively national news stories. Those local stories it did carry were lifted from the Manchester Evening News, claimed Mr Ashcroft.

Mike Anderson, deputy managing director of the London Metro, said Manchester people were "worldly wise and well- travelled" and did not want local news stories.

But Mr Ashcroft said locals may react negatively to the "London imposition". He insisted his title would be more than a morning edition of the Manchester Evening News, though its existing news- gathering resources will be used to generate local material. "It will be distinct, with its own style and identity. We are describing it as `free and easy reading in the morning'," said Mr Ashcroft. The Manchester Evening News will continue to publish its free weekly Metro, distributed to more than 300,000 households in the city.

Mr Anderson said all 100,000 copies of his new title available yesterday were distributed. Many of its ABC1 commuting audience do not buy a daily newspaper, he said. Last night's Manchester Evening News (itself discounted to 10p as, it has been every Friday for the past two year) proclaimed its new stable-mate a success.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk