The doyen of the US press establishment, the New York Times, is launching a free tabloid paper aimed at commuters.

The new publication, MarketPlace Weekly, will carry classified advertising and articles from its parent paper's help wanted, real estate and automotive sections.

It will be published Thursday afternoons from June 9 onward in 250 locations around New York, the company announced Wednesday. It will be distributed at commuter hotspots such as Grand Central Station and the Staten Island Ferry.

The New York Times Company plans an initial print run of 150,000 copies of the twelve-page freebie, which will comprise 25% editorial and 75% advertising.

Advertisers will have the option of adding MarketPlace to their schedules alongside the parent paper or of buying space only in the weekly. It will compete head-on with existing giveaways New York Metro and daily freesheet amNewYork - both boasting roughly double its circulation.

Says svp of advertising Jyll Holzman: "Advertisers will have an expanded opportunity to reach even more potential customers."

The company has already dipped its toe into the freebie market, buying a 49% stake in the Boston Metro paper for $16.5 million (€12.2m; £8.6m) [WAMN: 05-Jan-05].

The moves come as traditional dailies, weeklies and Sundays bid to beat off competition for ad dollars from online news sources.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff