Ed Abrams was the first hire of Metro New York in 2004, so it seems fitting we interview him for our special anniversary issue.
In his time here, Abrams has moved up the Metro ladder from sales director to executive sales director of Metro New York and sales director of Metro US.We chatted with him about what it’s like to hold down the fort of your favorite daily newspaper for over a decade.
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What are some of the big changes you’ve seen in your career here?
When I first started at Metro, the biggest obstacle we had to overcome was the incorrect perception that because our newspaper was free, we didn’t have value. That definitely has changed. We are now the largest newspaper in New York City and free is now the new norm with media.
What are your favorite parts of the paper, editorially?
Mainly the style in which the paper is written — concise articles that get right to the point. Who has time today to read anything but our style of journalism?
What do you think has changed with respect to what you have done in the sales department and what the reader would notice?
The frequency of selling unique advertising units, like cover wraps. For example, we now run cover wraps just about every other day. Metro was at the forefront of creating ad units that had never been done before. Today all print products have copied Metro.
When you see people reading Metro, what do you notice or look for in that instant?
Are they looking at the ads? [Laughs] Probably just a sense of pride that what I do impacts over a million readers each day.
Why do you still believe in the power of a newspaper?
Because newspapers —especially Metro — deliver instant and exceptional results for our clients. In terms of selling, you want to represent a product or service that works, and Metro works. Whether it’s a grand opening, sale, open house or special event, Metro delivers for our advertising partners.
What’s the one constant aspect to your life at Metro that you’ve noticed over the years?
The Metro spirit — we’ve always been the underdog and we’ve embraced and thrived in that role. We’ve had to work hard to achieve our success which has made these past 10 years so special.