It's an interesting time for Manchester's media world. As in the old Chinese curse: "may you live in interesting times."
Metro: Late last year they laid off a large percentage of Manchester Metro Life staff, and now lo and behold, the section seems to have entered the giant shrinking machine. Shame, that - it was one of the last places you could find out what was going on. Now it seems Metro has jumped on the old media blogging bandwagon. The Manchester Life blog is written by the few bods left over there in the scads of free time they must now have (sarcasm, that was.) Not a lot on there yet, but it's good to see them entering the fray. There's definitely a need for more cultural coverage here, online or off.
Word has it that Time Out have finally pulled the plug on the Time Out Manchester website they were hilariously updating with new content quarterly (yeah, check in once a season to find out what's on!) I guess this means there is now officially no hope of them ever producing the mag. I'll add that collector's edition issue one to my Manchester magazine graveyard, a collection that is becoming so large it may soon require its own room.
If there's no way to make a profit on a cultural mag in Manchester, maybe it's time to start hitting up the non-profit sector. That's exactly what the forthcoming Chimp magazine has done. The long-in-the-works first issue of Chimp, out Saturday for £1.80, was produced with the help of a £10,000 Awards for All community grant - sparking some debate over on NW media site How-Do
For my money (£2, if you're asking) one of the most exciting magazine launches in ages has been the appearance of the lovely Belle Vue, a tiny collectively-produced fanzine that embodies the real spirit of Manchester. And is somewhat preoccupied with where to get a good greasy spoon breakfast, but I can completely understand that. You can get it at Piccadilly Records and Cornerhouse, and there should be another one out soon. So, you see, it's not all gloom and doom. These days, small and homespun trumps big and glossy every time.