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Metro is the trading name of a free daily newspaper, published by Associated Newspapers Ltd (part of Daily Mail and General Trust) in the United Kingdom. It is available from Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) each week on many public transport services across the United Kingdom.
The paper was launched in London in 1999, and can now be found in 14 UK urban centres. Localised editions are distributed in Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Tyne and Wear, Sussex, Sheffield, Nottingham, Bristol and Bath. It is part of the same media group as the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, although in some areas, the paper operates as a franchise with a local newspaper publisher, rather than as a wholly owned concern.
The Metro concept comes from Sweden. Metro International, a different company, launched in the UK in 1999 and in Newcastle upon Tyne was distributed side by side with the Associated Newspapers' version on the Tyne and Wear Metro system. After battling alongside the Associated Newspapers' version with the same name, it changed its name to Morning News. It was short-lived, however, and Morning News was discontinued shortly afterwards (see Metro International). They have had plans to launch a rivalling free evening newspaper in London. . Similarly, Rupert Murdoch is said to have regretted missing the opportunity of launching his own London paper. However, News International, a UK subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corporation, launched a London-based newspaper in 2006 called thelondonpaper. This was closed on 18th September 2009.
The newspaper was designed to be read in 20 minutes. The features section contains a mix of articles on travel, homes, style, health and so on, as well as extensive arts coverage and entertainment listings. The popular puzzles page contains the cartoon strip Nemi (by Lise Myhre), 118 118 (by Clive Collins) (informative comic strip) and This Life (by Rick Brookes), astrology readings by Nikki Harper, and Sudoku. Previously, it featured a crossword (in place of the sudoku puzzle), David J. Bodycombe's Think Tank brainteasers and a Judge Dredd strip.
Despite the removal of the crossword, there is still a crossword compiled which is only available on the Metro website. The removal of the paper crossword caused some irritation to a lot of readers.
On 8 July 2009, the online version of Metro was merged with London Lite .
In its first five years, it achieved a readership of over 1 million daily readers, making it the UK's fourth largest daily newspaper, after The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, although it is closing in on the Daily Mirror in terms of distribution. It now prints approximately 1m copies daily, and officially has some 1.7m readers, as of September 2005. This high readership is due in part to the papers being left on seats on buses, train or the Underground systems in Glasgow, Tyne and Wear, and London, and then being picked up by the next person to use that seat. In October 2008, its total certified distribution for that month was 1,361,306. Due to its urban and mainly youthful audience, advertising receipts have been very healthy at a time when its older stablemate, the Evening Standard, had not been performing so well. 62% of readers are ABC1 (upper/middle class social grade), 78% are aged 15–44 and 64% are in work(http://www.associatednewspapers.com/metro.html).
The Dublin freesheet Metro Ireland is similar in layout and content to its British counterpart, as Associated Metro provides content, and the Dublin Metro uses the Associated Metro logo, not the Metro International graphics. Metro Ireland's ownership (i.e. Fortunegreen Ltd) is broken down as follows: 45% Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Irish Daily Mail), 45% The Irish Times and 10% Metro International (owners of the rights to the Metro brand in Ireland). It has one competitor Herald AM published by Independent News and Media's Evening Herald.Metro Ireland was launched on 10 October 2005, as was Herald AM. Both titles have since made losses, despite a circulation of 145,000 between them in the greater Dublin area. The two titles are likely to merge, a deal certain to face scrutiny by the Competition Authority as the resulting match up would draw together IN&M (publishers of the Irish Independent) and The Irish Times (the two Dublin-based broadsheets).  On Thursday 2 July 2009 it was announced the two freesheets were to merge.