A new-look Manchester Metro News will hit the streets later this week, complete with a new 16-page pull-out magazine.
Staff at the free weekly have been working on changes to the paper since last October, and on Friday readers will be able to see the end results for themselves.
As part of the revamp the Metro News will have a new masthead and fonts, but editor Richard Butt says that changes to the main paper have been mainly cosmetic.
He said: “The paper will continue to have the same news agenda, with human interest-led stories.
“But in addition to this there will be a 16-page magazine which will give readers extra matter to read and broaden the scope of the paper.
“While nothing sells newspapers (even free ones) like news, we appreciate that our readers are looking for something more these days.
“We’re going to offer them a longer read than we did. We hope that means they’ll enjoy the paper more, spend more time reading it and give our advertisers better value for money.”
The new Metromagazine will focus on lifestyle and leisure issues, and regular features will include celebrity interviews, fashion, food, shopping and competitions.
The changes aim to make the Metro News more distinctive from other papers in the circulation area, including sister titles the Manchester Evening News, Stockport Express and South Manchester Reporter, in a bid to complement them rather than compete with them.
The Metro News’s previous editor, John Jeffay, was involved in the early stages of the redesign and production of the magazine, before Richard took over in November.
After consulting staff on what changes should be made, three dummy issues were produced which were shown to focus groups to gauge reader reactions.
Richard said: “We got a very good response from the focus groups. We tweeked one or two things but generally they felt that there was a vast improvement on the old Metro News.”
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