It currently (September 2013) claims to be distributed in 50 British cities. However, for at least the last two years its website has only named 16: Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle and Sheffield. At its peak (November 2009) it was distributed in 18 towns and cities: Bradford, Coventry, Wolverhampton and York have been dropped from the list, while Leeds and Sheffield are the new additions.
There are currently 11 different editions. Until recently they were named for regions rather than cities, but metroyorkshire split into metrosheffield and metroleeds in the summer of 2013:
The main editorial offices are in London, but there’s also a Scotland office in Bathgate and regional offices in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, Leicester, Liverpool and Cardiff.
It’s published by Associated Newspapers Ltd, the branch of the Daily Mail & General Trust that publishes the Daily Mail and (until January 2009) the Evening Standard. However, six of the issues (Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Scotland) are published under licence by Trinity Mirror.
It claims to take an independent approach towards news reporting and to have “no political axe to grind”. In fact, there’s relatively little hard political or economic news in it. This is partly a consequence of the design; it’s intended to be read in 20 minutes, the length of a typical commuter journey. Much of each edition is given over to celebrity reporting, entertainment and sport. Its puzzles are also popular.
An e-edition’s also available on the website, as are apps for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones.