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Free Metro Boston paper is shutting down after 19 years

The free Metro Boston paper, once a staple of subway riders, is shutting down after 19 years in business.

A memo from publisher Ed Abrams and associate publisher Susan Peiffer issued on Wednesday said it didn’t make sense to continue to operate the paper after the New York and Philadelphia Metro papers were sold.

They said the Metro Boston paper lost access to “centralized resources, and a difficult decision had to be made.”

The Metro New York and Metro Philadelphia papers have been sold to Schneps Media, the owner of New York’s other free daily, amNewYork. (Schneps is combining the two New York papers.)


Metro Boston used to be omnipresent on the MBTA, but began to fade in popularity as more commuters used their phones to catch up on the day’s news.

The Alliance for Audited Media reported that the Metro Boston’s recent average daily circulation was 50,000, as of the third quarter of 2019, for editions that published Monday through Thursday.

The Boston Globe owned a 49 percent stake in the Metro Boston, dating back to when The New York Times Co. owned the Globe and decided to invest in the free paper. That stake was transferred when the Times Co. sold the Globe to John Henry in 2013.

Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.