Blast from the past: Toronto evening newspaper launches this afternoon

A new daily evening paper will join the ranks of Canadian publications when Toronto’s t.o.night launches this afternoon.

The free paper will be distributed in public transit stations between 3:30 and 6:30 in the evening and cater to commuters who still crave an afternoon news pick-me-up as they ride the rails.

On July 29, Media in Canada first reported the free Toronto paper’s intended entry into a forgotten news market. Managing director John Cameron told the Canadian news Web site his travels to England and Australia first motivated him to launch the evening publication — he said it will draw most of its content from Canadian Press and local blogs — which he said will be able to print breaking news other free daily competitors missed in their morning editions.

More importantly, Toronto subway riders will be subject to a visual anachronism: Cameron said the subway fodder will be distributed by “paper boys and girls, dressed in poorboy caps and white oxford shirts yelling “Extra! Extra!” in order to attract more attention to the headlines and the brand.”

The paper’s dinnertime distribution position may have some businesses salivating. According to print director Brenda Bookbinder, the publication hopes fast food and grocery stores will be an enormous source of ad revenue as these businesses seek to influence consumers who are making their after-work dinner plans.

And though a picture of a giant cheeseburger is bound to attract grumpy Canadian commuters, it remains to be seen whether tech-savvy subway riders will put down their Blackberry’s for what is essentially a bulkier version of their already-scrolled-through online news aggregators.

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One response to “Blast from the past: Toronto evening newspaper launches this afternoon

  1. I would not call the new paper a rag; we have not seen it yet. A number of newspapers are experimenting with the free PM model. If the number of mass transit travelers is sufficient, it could be sustainable. And while a Blackberry might better for news, they do not have printers for ads and coupons.

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