Time out for 'Time Out Jerusalem'

The odds were always against the short-lived entertainment magazine, says its former editor-in-chief.

Time Out Jerusalem 521 (photo credit: courtesy)
Time Out Jerusalem 521
(photo credit: courtesy)
While the Time Out Jerusalem weekly magazine has folded, coverage of entertainment, travel, food and other trends and happenings in the capital will not end.
“We will keep on producing several products under the Time Out Jerusalem brand,” said a source at Time Out Israel, the Israeli subsidiary of London-based Time Out Group Ltd. “We didn’t close the brand – we just stopped publishing it as a weekly magazine.”
The Hebrew-language magazine, which was launched a year ago and published its final, 54th issue on June 2, did not meet the company’s targets for paid subscriptions and advertising revenues, said the source, who requested anonymity and declined to reveal how many subscriptions the magazine accumulated.
Free copies of Time Out Jerusalem were provided at 12 venues in the capital on a regular basis as part of efforts to promote the magazine.
Time Out Israel will soon launch a quarterly edition of Time Out Jerusalem in Hebrew. The English-language Time Out Israel, a monthly publication available at Ben-Gurion International Airport, various hotels and other locations, will continue to cover Jerusalem happenings.
In September, Time Out Israel will launch a redesigned website (www.timeout.co.il) that will include information in Hebrew and English about Time Out-relevant developments in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
“We will consider relaunching Time Out Jerusalem as a magazine sometime in the future, based on business opportunities we [may or may not] have,” said the source. “We don’t have any plans to launch print magazines for other Israeli cities.”
Time Out Jerusalem’s staff consisted of 13 people.
Five of them now work for Time Out Tel Aviv, and eight were let go, he said.
Uri Shaltiel, the editor-in-chief of Time Out Jerusalem, was one of the dismissed staff members.
Given the condition of the journalism industry, “It was a very big surprise to me that someone would start a new magazine about culture in Jerusalem,” said Shaltiel. “Lots of people thought the chances for success were very low, and they were right. It was a long shot from the beginning, and unfortunately the odds were against us.”
The staff held a farewell party at the Armadillo bar near Rehov Ben-Yehuda after the last issue of the magazine was completed. “It was a sad evening, but I was really proud of them. They are such a special group of people,” said Shaltiel. “We had a good year, and we enjoyed it very much.”
Shaltiel said he will “take it easy for a while and rest” until he finds another job.
Referring to the British coal miners’ strike in the mid-1980s, he added, “[Former British Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher closed the coal mines, and thousands of people were out of work. This is journalism – we are the new coal miners, and we have to find new things to do with ourselves.”
For example, Shaltiel has written a thriller and is looking for a publisher.
The Time Out Tel Aviv magazine, also published in Hebrew, has 27,500 paid subscriptions and a weekly print circulation of 46,000 copies, said the source.
Time Out Israel became the first Time Out brand licensee to be given jurisdiction over a Time Out product in another country, overseeing Time Out Amsterdam.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Time Out Group has operations in Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Besides Western Europe and North America, the Time Out Group publishes magazines and guidebooks in such countries as Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Thailand, China, Japan, Russia and Romania.