IBJNews

Star folding Metromix section

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indianapolis Star is folding its free weekly Metromix publication after the June 23 edition.

Metromix is being discontinued because it didn’t attract the youthful audience the newspaper sought when it was launched in late 2003 as INtake, Star Publisher Karen Crotchfelt said, adding that Star leaders instead will invest in appealing to young readers online, where they already are moving in ever-larger numbers.

“It hasn’t accomplished its objectives,” Crotchfelt said of the stand-along section published every Thursday. “We were targeting an audience under 40. Our most recent research showed the median age of Metromix was 45.”

No jobs will be cut as a result of Metromix’s print demise. An online version of the section will continue under the guidance of Star staffer Amy Bartner. Other Metromix employees, Crotchfelt said, are “being assigned to other projects.”

Crotchfelt said the decision to shutter the print weekly is not an initiative across all newspapers at the Star’s parent company, Virginia-based Gannett Co.

Kevin McKinney, editor and publisher of Indianapolis alternative newspaper Nuvo Newsweekly, isn’t surprised Metromix is ceasing to publish.

“We’ve known for several years the readership was declining,” said McKinney. “The product wasn’t being well embraced.”

Citing numbers from a recent audit by Houston-based firm The Media Audit, McKinney said Metromix’s weekly readership was about half of Nuvo’s.

“It was failing and it cost them a ton of money,” McKinney said.

According to Media Audit’s most recent study, which covered November and December 2010, the average age of Nuvo’s readers was 44 and Metromix’s was 38.

Data for that period also concluded that 27 percent of Nuvo’s readers were between the ages of 18 and 34, 52 percent were 35 to 54 and 20 percent were 55 or older.

In the same study, Media Audit concluded that 43 percent of Metromix’s readers were ages 18 to 34, 44 percent were between 35 and 54 and 14 percent were 55 and older.

Media Audit said Nuvo had 157,500 different readers peruse its pages each month during the study period, while Metromix had 71,338.

Metromix and Nuvo have been a contrast in styles. Metromix often contains shorter articles with lots of pictures. Its reporters have written about such topics as coping with holiday stress, living together before marriage, retro fashion from the 1980s and the hippest Super Bowl parties.

Nuvo typically has longer, more in-depth stories on weightier topics such as politics and urban decay.

And, according to McKinney, Nuvo was attracting a younger audience. “The average age of our reader is 37,” he said. “Half are under 30.”

Metromix’s online edition will continue with photo galleries, which Star officials said have proven tremendously popular, and reviews of things like restaurants and movies.

When they launched INtake, Star leaders said one of the main objectives of the publication was to bond with younger readers and eventually lure them over to the Star. It was known as Indy.com before becoming Metromix

That initiative was born out of Gannett’s Generation X Task Force, which formed in 2000 to study how its papers could reach the 25-to-34 demographic. Gannett launched its first stand-alone alternative style weeklies in 2002 in Boise, Idaho, and Lansing, Mich. Similar publications in Rochester, N.Y.; Louisville; Cincinnati and Indianapolis followed.

Gannett’s efforts came about for good reason. The Chicago-based National Opinion Research Center found that in 1972, 47 percent of U.S. residents between the age of 18 and 29 read a daily newspaper. That number declined to 18 percent by 2000 and 15 percent by 2005.

The death of Metromix’s print edition, McKinney said, doesn’t signal the end of the Star’s efforts to reach a younger audience.

“[The Star] isn’t going away,” McKinney said. “They’re going to keep trying to penetrate this sector because it’s too important. It will be interesting to see what their next move is.”

Crotchfelt wasn’t ready to tip her hand, but acknowledged the Star has other strategies either in place or in development to attract the 25- to 44-year-old audience.

Metromix isn’t the only part of that,” Crotchfelt said. “We have quite a few things to reach that demographic up our sleeve.”



 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Oh well
    I was predisposed to not like INtake when it came out, with its tagline of "Smart. Savvy. Stapled" as a dig at my beloved NUVO. I've picked up copies over the years when 1)my cousin was on the cover (for a now closed nightclub!) and 2)my BFF made the cover for his awesome animatronics. Oh, and for strip club covers- INtake always seemed to be full of strip club coupons.
  • Yes, we smell more failure
    Why should a "young audience" be interested in re-hashed articles from the Gannett "old audience" newspaper? How could their newspaper (now appearing more like a focus ad-paper) deliver the same content to INtake / Metromix and expect to be a source of viable news and information for another generation of readers? The better laugh is that Gannett believes these same re-hashed articles will be a draw to a website. If the website is designed like the current Indy Star website with its excruciatingly slow response times, pages with overburdened (and slow) dynamic ad serving, and variable ad sizes that take over the page -- I smell epic fail... Thank goodness the waste will only be electrons and not newsprint.
  • they don't care
    So many media outlets (including tv) seem desperate to reach a young audience but the young audience isn't interested what they are offering.
  • Bye
    Nuvo rocks and I am well over 40.
  • Metromix Folding
    Metromix was a poor attempt by the Star to try to "siphon" readers from Nuvo, Nuvo is covers REAL issues, while all Metromix EVER covered was the newest bar in town...Goodbye and Good riddance!
  • Online
    At least the pictures of the trampy, chunky gals hanging out at LandSharks will still be available online. Thanks goodness for that.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT