The Zombie-Metro - The Intrepid

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Zombie-Metro

Toronto Metro News Box

The consensus is that the news industry is screwed. When a respected institution like the New York Times has to turn to a sleazy Mexican criminal for cash, you know that the noose around everyone else’s neck must be twice as tight. In Toronto, however, the situation is particularly troubling, as even before the recession there were just too many players in the market. Now, those same organizations are dying as they struggle to compete for a smaller pot of advertising revenue.

In December, Sun Media laid-off six-hundred employees nationwide, including twenty-seven in their Toronto Sun office and just last week the Globe and Mail laid-off thirty employees and bought out another sixty.

The latest industry casualty is the Metro—a free paper operated since 2000 by the Toronto Star’s publisher, Torstar. Today, the Metro announced that to save costs it was terminating all six of its full time employees and replacing them with unpaid interns. While the Metro has never really been intellectually stimulating, it’s hard to imagine that a group of newly hired interns will be able to produce a paper of similar quality with only a few days training.

So, while the Metro really isn’t dead per-say, it’s pretty much a zombie on life support (in this analogy, interns are apparently analogous to life support). Firing every single paid employee is a last ditch effort, so as far as we’re concerned, the Metro might as well be dead.

Photo by __bri__