Addicted to novelty since 2001

Kudos to Metro Vancouver Managing Editor

Gord Kurenoff, managing editor of Metro Vancouver, a new free daily, dropped by and left a comment today:

Thanks for the kind comments about Metro, the free daily launched to give people a quick read in the morning.
I hope your parrot, or whatever other naughty thing you play with, enjoys the Monday-to-Friday offering.
Who says it’s not good for anything?!!!
Hopefully, we’ll be able to convert you as we improve and become bigger and more localized.

In the meantime, enjoy your blogging. You have a neat site and I’ll enjoy reading it and the many opinions expressed in this wonderfuly world of free speech we live in!

Way to listen to the online conversation, Gord. I (among others) was pretty disparaging about the first issue, and my opinions haven’t changed. However, I really appreciate the editor coming by. I’d have prefered it if he’d replied to my particular criticism (for example, is he down with RSS?), but it’s much better than nothing.

7 Responses to “Kudos to Metro Vancouver Managing Editor”

  1. richard

    My commute by bus is short enough to be served by this size of rag. I too noticed the heavy reliance on wire service content, and only noticed one or two bylines by staff when I went looking. It’s basically a print aggregator with no configuration, and it’s more portable than my laptop. The 16 pages make it pretty easy to juggle on the bus; a whole lot easier than the Post or the Sun. It’s convenient and totally disposable once it has served its purpose.

    It doesn’t matter if they serve up RSS, or if they notice it; the majority of their content is re-blogging anyhow. If you don’t like the paper, you won’t like the feed, so no worries :)

  2. Darren

    Richard: Thanks for this, but I disagree with your last assertion “you don’t like the paper, you won’t like the feed”. I subscribe to lots of feeds that only interest me 5 or 10% of the time. That’s not a problem, because the skim rate on RSS is so quick. I might be interested in one in 30 Metro stories, but I’d be willing to give it a try.

  3. Anonymous

    The Metro/Dose/dying newspapers debate is one I continue to have with one of my close friends who is a staunch ‘old media’ guy. He seems to think these papers will thrive. I’m less convinced. These papers are taking dead-aim at the tabloid papers ie, Vancouver Province, hence the reason why CanWest became a last-minute investor in Metro. I don’t see these offerings resonating well with the 30+ demo. I believe Metro is in fact gunning for this demo, while Dose goes for more of the youth market. Plus, Vancouver’s about to get another free paper as well which is scheduled to launch in less than a month from now which will be glossy paged and full-colour.

    Truncated news/wire stories are a waste of pulp and paper, IMO. Bite-sized stories are fine, provided I can dig deeper if I want to. But print can’t compete with the depth of the web, so why waste my time snacking on a free paper, when I can get those same snacks on the web with the ability to satiate my appetite to dig deeper (at my own discretion, without it being force-fed to me) in ways that no paper can possibly offer.

    Metro will get bigger. I believe they’re going for a 36-48 page format. But unless these papers start bringing to the table some very interesting editorial content, I won’t bother reading it unless I’m stuck in a Dr.’s office and it’s either Metro or Physicians Weekly.

    But when it comes to newsprint, the prevailing feeling I’m left with, is that this is an industry clearly in decline and these latest offerings seem like the proverbial spaghetti noodle toss, hoping that something sticks in the demos they continue to see erode before their eyes. Stick it might, in the short term as we’ve seen in markets like Toronto, but the web-savvy echo generation have grown-up without reading much newsprint in addition to basically writing-off radio as a means for listening to music. I’m not claiming to have any hidden answers, but I don’t think newspapers are going to be able to overcome the undeniable physical limitations of their own medium for the long term. Daily newsprint won’t die, but I’m not convinced any of the spaghetti noodles being tossed against the wall now, are going to stick for the long haul. In my opinion, what I could see happening down the road once this ‘free paper’ trend plays itself out, is that newspapers start going more high-end, both in terms of content and presentation, catering specifically to those that love the medium, loosen the editorial noose, and charge more for it.

  4. James

    Whoops, sorry Darren. For some reason the above comment got posted without my name. I wasn’t trying to be anonymous!

  5. richard

    Darren: I suppose you could be right on the RSS feed interest… There are people who I might read one post in 20 or even fewer.

    I saw one letter to the editor in Metro that said something I really liked; that all newspapers should be free to the reader. I would imagine that home delivery subscriptions aren’t quite the moneymaker that they used to be anyway, and that the papers are making their real cash on ad sales. Imagine The Post going 100% free every issue at all skytrain stations and 7-11s in town…

  6. Jeff

    I just picked up a copy of the Metro this morning in Vancouver…before flying home to Sask.

    Can’t say I found it too compelling – Vancouver weather on the other hand – I’m really missing that right now.

  7. Monique

    The Metro ads on the transit buses are driving my editorial mind mad.

    “Lion’s defeat” should be “Lions defeat”, or if they do mean the possessive Lions’s or Lions’ defeat

    What is that apostrophe doing?
    sigh.

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