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Mail Online to bring Metro.co.uk under its wing in surprise move

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

March 5, 2014 | 3 min read

Metro.co.uk is to be incorporated within Mail Online in a surprise announcement, Metro’s managing director Steve Auckland has confirmed.

Announcement: Metro.co.uk will be brought under Mail Online

Metro and Mail Online are both part of the Daily Mail and General Trust, and The Drum understands the merger was agreed because it “makes business sense” to open up Mail Online’s resources to Metro.co.uk, which has seen year-on-year traffic growth in excess of 300 per cent following investment.

Steve Auckland, managing director at Metro, said: “The Metro.co.uk team have done a brilliant job on a limited budget. The three million daily uniques achieved on 18 February gave us a glimpse of the audience potential of this website and the camaraderie that exists within the team.

“However, the potential to accelerate this growth and monetise it is best served by the Mail Online team at this moment in time. It will free the rest of the business to concentrate on reinvigorating Metro.”

The Drum understands that Metro.co.uk will retain its online address and branding, and sources close to the deal said it will open up access to “more money, a bigger team and more investment”.

The Metro print product will continue, although the deal has prompted speculation about whether DMGT may be looking to offload the freesheet.

Metro is one of three main freesheet papers available in London, the others being the London Evening Standard, owned by Alexander Lebedev, and business title City A.M. Earlier this week, Metro’s head of digital content, Martin Ashplant, confirmed a move to City A.M. as digital and social media director.

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