History and content
Supported entirely by advertising, it is distributed free of charge every Wednesday in newsstands in businesses and libraries around the city and suburbs. Compared to the two dailies, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, the Metro Times has a liberal orientation. Average circulation for the Metro Times is 50,000 weekly. Average readership is just over 700,000 weekly.
Its columnists include Larry Gabriel and journalism professor Jack Lessenberry.
Its annual "Best of Detroit" survey awards local businesses. The categories include "Public Square" (city life); "Spend the Night" (nightlife and bars); "Nutritional Value" (restaurants and food); and "Real Deal" (retail and additional stores).
Syndicated alternative comics run by the Metro Times have in the past included Perry Bible Fellowship, This Modern World, Eric Monster Millikin and Red Meat. The Metro Times additionally prints Dan Savage's Savage Love sex advice column (which replaced Isadora Alman's Ask Isadora sex advice column) and Cal Garrison's Horoscopes (which replaced Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology). Starting with the January 19–25 issue, the Metro Times had its own exclusive crossword, crafted by Brooklyn-based cruciverbalist Ben Tausig, who appears in the documentary Wordplay. The crossword was cut in May 2008, to save space.
The Metro Times consistently wins awards from the Michigan Press Association, the Detroit Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Media Awards, and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia Altweekly Awards.
In December 2012, Metro Times Editor W. Kim Heron announced his departure. Heron had previously been the paper's managing editor. In March 2013, after three months throughout which Michael Jackman was interim editor, the publisher named Bryan Gottlieb as Editor-in-Chief.
In April 2014, Valerie Vande Panne, former editor of High Times, was named editor-in-chief. In May 2014, the Metro Times merged with Real Detroit Weekly, which had been a Detroit-area alternative weekly paper after 1999.
The Metro Times was an official sponsor of the now-defunct Detroit Festival of the Arts and had one of the stages named after it.
The headquarters are located in Ferndale. It was previously headquartered in the Detroit Cornice and Slate Company Building in Downtown Detroit. The Metro Times moved to the Cornice and Slate building in the 1990s and a wraparound expansion was installed there to give the newspaper additional room. In 2013 Blue Cross Blue Shield purchased the Cornice and Slate building, forcing the Metro Times to move. The Metro Times currently leases space in a facility in Ferndale.