Saturday 06 June 2020

Metro, the last Dutch free newspaper, is killed off by coronavirus

Metro’s readership has disappeared thanks to home working. Photo: S Boztas

The Netherlands’ remaining free newspaper Metro will no longer be published as a physical paper once the coronavirus crisis has subsided and people are commuting to work again.

Metro is fully dependent on advertising and had barely covered its costs in recent years, according to a statement from the publisher to staff. The last paper copy was published on March 20 as the Netherlands went into lockdown.

The online version will continue ‘to continue serving its important young audience’, the spokesman said.

The Netherlands used to have four free newspapers. DAG, set up by owner of the Volkskrant and AD, was launched in 2007 and folded in 2009. De Pers, an independent initiative, was first issued in 2006 but closed in 2012.

In 2014, the Telegraaf Media Group folded its free newspaper Spits to focus on Metro, which it had bought in 2012.

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