Lakwena MaciverHassan Hajjaj

Time Out London comes to 'happy, natural end' in print
Press GazetteBron Maher
 

Time Out distributes its last London print copies on Thursday.

 

The final edition leads on a “London Rising” theme and features a send-off column from London mayor Sadiq Khan.


The magazine will continue to publish online – including through a new daily email – but Thursday’s will be the last “regular issue” paper edition.


Originally scheduled for Tuesday 21 June, the final publish date was pushed back to Thursday by rail strikes. There are four versions of the last Time Out, each with a front cover created by a different London artist.

 

The cover story, London Rising, centres on “a fresh generation of activists, artists and partystarters shaking up our city”, and spotlights events and venues at which Londoners can get in on the new scenes identified.


Guest writing for the magazine’s City Life column, Sadiq Khan describes Time Out as “my passport out of Tooting”, recounting that as a sixth-former “I’d go to WHSmith on the other side of Streatham High Road and go through Time Out with a pen and paper because I couldn’t afford to buy it”.


The issue also features “love letters to London” from authors living in the city, including Stewart Lee (“I love London for its jazz clubs”), Bernardine Evaristo (“I love London for its magical theatres”) and Joel Golby (“I love London for the kindness of its drunk strangers”).


How did Time Out London begin?

 

Now operating in 59 countries, Time Out began in London in 1968 as a single-page pamphlet distributed by late founder Tony Elliott.


Press Gazette asked Time Out chief content officer Dave Calhoun whether he felt melancholy about the death of the print mag.

 

“Weirdly no, it doesn’t feel melancholy. And this is me saying that – I’ve been at Time Out for 18 years.”

 

Calhoun said he didn’t feel downbeat because “it feels to me like it’s coming to a happy, natural end. And that’s the same with the team here, actually, I’m not giving you the spin on that.

 

“I just sat down half an hour ago with our Time Out London editor Joe Mackertich. We were having a similar conversation: ‘This is a big week.’ We’ve launched so many things, we’re saying goodbye to the magazine. Both of us sat there and 100% agreed: ‘You know what, this actually feels right and good.'”

 

Mackertich, previously the editor of another now-shuttered free magazine, Shortlist, said in April: “Paper and ink doesn’t have the monopoly on quality. A digital product can be as funny, insightful, collaborative and rewarding as a print one. It’s time for us to prove it.”

 

Part of that bid has seen Time Out refresh its email offering, moving from a weekly email to a daily one that launched on Monday.

 

Calhoun said: “We wanted to be in our audience’s inbox daily. And we wanted to create something that felt even more special than the emails that we previously sent out.

 

“So we’ve gone all in on the creative and the design of it. It’s an email where, certainly, we want people to go from the email to our other platforms. But we also want people just to love it, and that’s enough.”

 

Also supplying some continuity between the paper and silicon realms, on 28 June Time Out plans to launch the first of its digital covers. The covers will not be tied to an e-edition of the magazine, but rather form “a talking point” relating to coverage the site is providing. The first, for example, will concern London’s Pride celebrations.

 

Pictures: Kris Andrew Small, Real Hackney Dave (aka Dave Buonaguidi), Lakwena Maciver and Hassan Hajjaj via Time Out