New York’s popular “Time Out” magazine may be launching a Los Angeles edition within six months. But can it fly?
Portfolio.com’s Mixed Media blog reports that the magazine’s founder is hoping to raise up to $60 million to create “Time Out” editions in L.A., Dallas, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami, in addition to the current U.S. cities of New York and Chicago.
Because the new editions would be web-only, at least at first, the target markets don’t have to meet Time Out’s usual criteria of a well-defined downtown area and a large base of mass-transit commuters who frequently pass by newsstands.
A few years ago when I regularly spent time in New York, Time Out was as indispensable as the LA Weekly here for movie and event listings. A notable difference, likely due in large part to it being a full color, glossy magazine, is that Time Out costs over $3 per issue. I can’t imagine Angelenos spending that kind of money with other print options such as the Weekly or City Beat free and easy to find.
Even a free web edition is a financial gamble, considering Los Angeles currently has a crowded market of local online magazines such as Metromix, the L.A. Times Calendar, and the Weekly and City Beat’s own web editions (not to mention countless blogs).
And let’s also not forget Real Talk LA, the upstart magazine that launched last year to great hype only to cease publication after one issue.
Which isn’t to say that with a slate of fantastic writers and a top notch editor Time Out Los Angeles couldn’t succeed – just that the odds are stacked against it.
Note: “Time Out” started in London in 1968, where it is still published, and currently has twenty city versions being published worldwide, including Chicago and New York. [Wikipedia]