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Free Newspapers

After over 3 years locked in mortal combat, it now looks like the Herald AM and its rival Metro will be combining their operations and forming a new free newspaper imaginatively called the Metro Herald. Considering the initial acrimony between the two papers and their respective shareholders, it just shows how an ‘economic downturn’ will focus the mind and reminds me of that nice expression “the pockets thought the hands were mad”. The registered vehicle for Metro is a company called Fortune Green. The Irish Times has a 45% interest in that company, Associated have another 45% and Metro International had the remaining 10%. According to the Irish Times – who broke the story – Metro international will ‘exit’ the business, but the new phoenix type newspaper will retain at least some of its heritage. According to the report, the new business shareholding will be one third each for Independent News and Media, The Irish Times and Associated Newspapers. Whilst the rivalry between Independent and The Irish Times has always been based squarely on Queensberry rules, the relationship between The Independent and Associated is more akin to the rules of the WWF Smackdown. But I suppose in this climate – “needs…