Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Time Out Manchester: Outta Time?


We've all been wondering what's going on with Time Out Manchester, which was supposed to launch this spring, you remember? It's been verrry quiet on that front. But Monday there was another communication from on high, buried down at the bottom of a Media Guardian gossip column. Here's the key bit:

"Elliott scoffs at suggestions that the magazine is being shelved. "We remain completely committed to Manchester and will launch in autumn," he says. "We are still in the process of raising investment. We need about £1m, and we have people working on that. We just do not have the liquidity to set it up on our own, though we have always said we really want to run Manchester ourselves, like we do in Chicago and New York."

Yeah, remember when he swaggered into town and said all that stuff about giving Manchester "the magazine it deserves?" Hmmmmm. The crack team of journalistic guns-for-hire assembled for the launch issue are all wandering away, I hear, to work on other promising "projects." A few were allegedly offered starvation wages to write for the soon-to-be-expanded TOM website, but declined.

It seems money's tight for TOM. Maybe we should start a fundraising drive, hold a few bake sales?

12 comments:

Richard said...

I always doubted whether a physical magazine would ever actually launch - an expanded website makes more sense to me. I don't think a Time Out Manchester mag would be able to offer significantly more than the current media available (nationals, MEN, blogs, those monthly property-based glossies, etc).

yankunian said...

I agree that an expanded website is necessary, but I think it has to be in concert with a paper magazine, both given the ad market and the obvious demand for it.

Maybe I'm foolishly optimistic, but I think TOM would be able to offer more than the current local media available, which is frankly pretty paltry when it comes to covering what's on in Manchester in an engaging way. And don't get me started on the nationals - they hardly ever venture outside London, and don't have a clue what's happening here.

Ally said...

I have no inside info, but I'd be surprised if their problems centre around paying journalists. Fees to freelance hacks are only a small part of the overall costs of launching a magazine. And truth is, if journalists get above their stations, publishers can always find someone younger, keener and cheaper around the corner.

A launch could be held up because of any number of reasons (but most commonly related to people arguing over advertising rates and sales projections and the like.)

Of course if you work for Guardian Media section, then the whole world revolves around journalists, so they would see it like that!

But I agree Manchester needs TO or something like it. Fingers crossed it sorts itself out.

(hello BTW - have linked!)

Mancubist said...

That's annoying. Personally, I'm still optimistic, though £1m is a lot of money.

Maybe they can make it 'Time Out Manchester (sponsored by Manchester United)'? Can you imagine...

Ciara said...

It's a jungle out there, as we all know rather too well after the untimely collapse of the North West Enquirer (and City Life and others).
You'd hope, though, that a readymade brand like Time Out would not struggle to raise the necessary capital, sell ads and get people buying the magazine in Britain's official second city.
After all, isn't Manchester - aka Media City:UK - meant to be booming?

yankunian said...

Ally - I guess that begs the question, then: If paying journalists isn't a problem for Time Out, why offer such an embarrassingly low salary and alienate talented people? Because that is indeed what they have done.

Yes, they can always find someone younger and more desperate to get a foot in the door, but they typically won't be as good. And I would expect a quality mag like Time Out to have higher standards as far as writing ability and experience goes than the local rags. I genuinely don't understand what they're about, but it seems like a wrong-footed start, to me.

Ally said...

"If paying journalists isn't a problem for Time Out, why offer such an embarrassingly low salary and alienate talented people? Because that is indeed what they have done."

Hazarding a guess... incompetence, short-sightedness and hubris?

Maybe I'm overly cynical, but publishers always seem to consider journalists a disposable extra in the whole business of running a magazine. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the good folks at TOHQ really don't give a shit what the likes of you, me and Flic Everett think of them.

Susan said...

"Maybe I'm foolishly optimistic, but I think TOM would be able to offer more than the current local media available, which is frankly pretty paltry when it comes to covering what's on in Manchester in an engaging way."

Forgive the shameless plug, but we at The Magazine like to think we give good coverage to a number of events coming up in Manchester :)

http://www.themagazineuk.com

stuart said...

The London version of Time Out slags off Manchester and The North all the time anyway, so fuck them.

Dave said...

Susan, the magazine isn't exactly relevant for average city folk is it. Seems more aimed at footballers wives and cheshire hoi palloi. Give us some events that we can actually go to, not just parties with the Z list.

manchester_clubbing said...

I agree with Dave ('The Magazine' is Manchesters answer to Hello, not our answer to CL/TimeOut etc) but they do carry nice pics of Anne Hathaway...even if they're straight from a picture outlet.

I know three people who've worked with, or tried to work with, 'The' and they don't speak highly of it.

Anonymous said...

there's a new kid on the block, look!

www.chimpmagazine.co.uk