Politics cited as Metropol faces ejection from Metro

Deals

The free daily newspaper Metropol, which is handed out in Budapest Metro stations, could lose the contract allowing this distribution method, in a move seen as favoring a government-friendly newspaper over the competition.

Todayʼs issue of Metropol.

Citing unnamed sources, nol.hu writes that political pressure could make transportation authority BKV decide not to lengthen the distribution contract of the daily. Thanks in part to the distribution in Metro stations, Metropol has reached a reported circulation of about 330,000.

The same unnamed sources reportedly told nol.hu that the reason for removing Metropol from metro stations is to decrease its reach, thereby assisting the competing of free weekly, Lokál, which is reportedly owned by Árpád Habony – a close associate of government leaders.

Metropol is published by MTG Metro Gratis Kft., which is owned by Károly Fonyó, a close business associate of Lajos Simicska. Both Fonyó and Simicska are media oligarchs currently battling government film Commissioner Andrew G. Vajna for ownership of Hungary’s largest commercial channel, TV2. If he controls the channel, Vajna is expected to produce news that is more government friendly, while Simicska has openly opposed the government since he had a falling out with the prime minister in February.

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