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Metro (magazine)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

EditorHenry Oliver
Year founded1981
Final issueMarch/April 2020
CountryNew Zealand
Based inAuckland

Metro is a glossy quarterly lifestyle magazine published in New Zealand. It has a strong focus on the city of Auckland, with reportage of issues and society.[3] The magazine was first published independently by Mick Mason, Clive Curry and Bruce Palmer. Metro was shut down by its owners, the Bauer Media Group due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4][5][6][7] On 17 July 2020, Metro was acquired by independent publisher Simon Chesterman.[8][2] [9]


Metro was established in 1981.[10][11] The debut of the magazine coincided with the rapid expansion of the New Zealand economy that occurred from 1984, following the election of the Fourth Labour Government, who implemented widespread neoliberal deregulation and economic reform. The increased access to imported luxury goods made Metro magazine an attractive media environment for advertisers.

From Metro's ninth issue in March 1982 until 2002, the magazine featured an influential gossip column called Felicity Ferret.[12] The writer was anonymous, although in May 2006 Auckland restaurant owner Fran Fisher told Metro that she had pitched the idea to editor Warwick Roger in 1982, and had contributed to it – along with Roger – until she left New Zealand in December 1983.[13] The Ferret's initials hinted at her own name. While multiple writers were known to have written for the column over the years, after 1983 the Ferret was suspected to be largely the work of former model and notorious Auckland socialite Judith Baragwanath.[12]

Metro magazine's success led to the launch of a sister title North and South, edited by Robyn Langwell. This publication took a wider look at New Zealand regional stories. Langwell was editor of North & South until June 2007. A third title, women's interest magazine More, was launched before the stable was bought by ACP Media, an Australian publishing consortium.

Both Metro and North & South have won awards for publishing and journalism and Metro, in particular, has been well known for its standard of photography and design under art directors William Chen and Jenny Nicholls. This tradition is still strong, with Metro winning Best Art Director (Charlie McKay) at the 2010 Qantas Media Awards.

ACP Media was the former owner of Metro until 2013 when the magazine was acquired by Bauer Media Group.

Metro's fortunes have varied since Warwick Roger gave up the editor's chair. The appointment of Bill Ralston saw dramatic shifts in the magazine's editorial focus away from the rigor of Roger's style to a more flamboyant, celebrity style format. Sales were disappointing and a period of decline followed.

The magazine was relaunched as a large format glossy title while led by Nicola Legat, a long-time contributing journalist. The changes were intended to reverse the decline of sales and readership. At its peak Metro sold 40,000 copies, but this had fallen to less than 20,000. During this period the society scandal column Felicity Ferret was dropped from Metro's pages. The Ferret briefly returned to the pages of Metro in 2009.

In 2005, Legat left the magazine to join publishing company Random House. She was replaced by Lauren Quaintance, a former North & South writer, who oversaw a 5 per cent increase in circulation. Quaintance left in June 2007 to return to the Sydney Morning Herald and the long-serving deputy Bevan Rapson was appointed acting editor.

A makeover in 2009 saw Metro changed to a smaller size, and the incorporation of Citymix magazine within its pages.

In mid-2010, Rapson was replaced as editor by Simon Wilson, a Metro senior writer and former editor of Cuisine and Consumer, the magazine published by the Consumers' Institute of New Zealand. In 2010, Wilson oversaw a 25 per cent increase in Metro's readership, according to Nielsen Media Research. In August 2015 Susannah Walker became the editor of the magazine, replacing Simon Wilson in the post.[14]

In early April 2020, the Bauer Media Group closed down Metro and several of its New Zealand operations in response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand.[4][5][6][7] On 17 June 2020, Sydney investment firm Mercury Capital purchased Metro as part of its acquisition of Bauer Media's New Zealand and Australian media assets.[15][16] On 17 July, Mercury Capital confirmed that it would be selling Metro to independent publisher Simon Chesterman.[8][2]


Metro won a number of 2010 Qantas Media Awards:

  • Best Magazine Feature Writer Simon Wilson,
  • Best Magazine Designer Charlie McKay,
  • Senior Magazine Feature Writer (Politics) Simon Wilson,
  • Senior Magazine Feature Writer (Arts & Entertainment) Simon Wilson.


  1. ^ Metro at ACP Media
  2. ^ a b c d "Bauer resumes publishing of The Listener and NZ Woman's Weekly after Mercury Capital takes over". New Zealand Herald. 17 July 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Metro". Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Edmunds, Susan; Nadkarni, Anuja; Cookes, Henry (2 April 2020). "Govt 'could have given half-a-million' to help Bauer but publisher didn't want it, Faafoi says". Stuff. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Covid 19 coronavirus: Bauer Media closing - publisher of the Listener, Woman's Day, North & South". The New Zealand Herald. 2 April 2020. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Covid-19: Major magazine publisher Bauer Media closing down". Radio New Zealand. 2 April 2020. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Publisher of NZ Listener, Woman's Weekly, North & South to shut down". The Spinoff. 2 April 2020. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b Edmunds, Susan. "The Listener and other Bauer mags return — some may be gone for good". Stuff. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Metro | Metro is back". Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Metro Magazine's The Best of Auckland 2009". Crime Watch. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Metro". Twitter. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  12. ^ a b Olds, Jeremy (1 October 2017). "Word is out: the death of gossip in New Zealand". Sunday Magazine. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  13. ^ Fisher, Fran (May 2006). "Fur & Loathing in Auckland". Metro.
  14. ^ "Arrivals & Departures: Simon Wilson steps back as Metro taps new ed". Mad Daily. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Bauer Media NZ bought by Australian investment company". Radio New Zealand. 17 June 2020. Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  16. ^ Edmunds, Susan (17 June 2020). "Bauer magazines sold to private equity firm". Stuff. Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 March 2021, at 04:32
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