Time Out Seeking Investors, Could Go Free And Beef Up Online

imageLondon-based entertainment listings magazine Time Out is looking for new investors to fund a re-strategisation of the title for the online age. Founder Tony Elliott tells Guardian.co.uk the title is in “quite an intensive period of thinking and researching, certainly until Christmas, to re-plan for the future”…

“If you’ve got a situation, in two to three years, where the main role that we play is online … the question is what shape does the print magazine take?” The answer may be that Time Out should go free, like so many other listings mags – but that may depend on the health of the advertising market and the ability to fund a really revenue-generating website.

The magazine has been 40 years in the publishing business, during which it has expanded from a London-based listings magazine to a global empire with 23 magazines in 16 countries and more than 40 regularly updated city guides.

Elliott is still protesting BBC Worldwide’s acquisition of Lonely Planet, but he missed the boat on his own deal with the broadcaster: “BBC Worldwide were not really prepared to entertain, let’s call it a joint venture, of any description. What they wanted, in the two or three times we talked about it seriously, was to own the business and I was not interested in selling the business. We just never got anywhere and then they went off and bought Lonely Planet, which pissed us off to say the least.” So, he says, Time Out still needs “more working capital”.