Silicon Valley-based Metro Newspapers is the leading publisher of alternative newsweeklies in the San Francisco Bay Area—the nation's number one market for the alternative press.
Educated, affluent Bay Area residents read more than twice as many urban weeklies per capita than their counterparts in metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. And Metro's market share in this sector is larger than any other Bay Area publisher. Each week, more than half a million readers turn to Metro's publications to gain perspective on their communities and make decisions about their entertainment activities and consumer spending.
The owner-operated, locally based company was founded in 1985 by Dan Pulcrano and David Cohen, veterans of such newspapers as the LA Weekly, Hartford Advocate and San Diego Reader.
The flagship of the group is Silicon Valley's Metro, a free weekly newspaper that distributes more than 83,000 copies throughout the valley at more than 1,200 locations in business districts, universities such as Stanford and well known high technology companies.
In 1994, the company began publishing Metro Santa Cruz and assumed control of the Sonoma County Independent, which in October 2000 was renamed the Northern California Bohemian and expanded to cover Napa and Marin counties.
A pioneer in online media, Metro was one of the first weekly publishers to go online, launching the LiveWire service in 1993, and Virtual Valley Community Network the following year. Today, it concentrates its efforts on Metroactive, a Bay Area-wide arts and entertainment service, and through its Boulevards New Media Inc. subsidiary, a network of community sites encompassing more than 20 major city.com addresses.
Metro also founded Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, the region's leading publisher of community weeklies. SVCN currently delivers weeklies to homes in some of Silicon Valley's most exclusive zip codes, including the municipalities of Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Sunnyvale and Cupertino, and the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. In December 2001, Metro successfully spun off SVCN as an independently owned company.
Metro's newspapers have won numerous state and national awards for excellence in such categories as investigative journalism, writing, design, arts criticism, food writing, business coverage, typography, community service, editorial cartoons, opinion pages, features, general news and columns. Metro's arts and entertainment coverage twice has been chosen as the best in California.
Metro Newspapers supports hundreds of community-based, nonprofit organizations through a donated advertising space program that benefits film festivals, small theater companies, free concerts and community-based, business improvement efforts. In addition, The Metro Foundation, funded by Metro employees and readers, makes annual grants to groups working to alleviate hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, AIDS and age-based social problems in the Silicon Valley area.