Time Out Vs City Life

Time Out Vs City LifeThe oddity that Manchester’s first Time Out has been timed for Labour Party conference delegates with no time to explore the city has already been remarked upon by Manchizzle. But how will Guardian Media Group (GMG) respond? The Manchester Evening News has already renamed Go, City Life, but that’s unlikely to have much impact.

GMG has fought aggressively to preserve its local monopoly in the past. The Metro Vs Metro wars, where Associated Newspaper’s morning freesheet went head-to-head with a local version of the same name, ended only when Associated agreed GMG would publish, print distribute and most importantly sell local advertising on the paper. So there’s always a chance City Life could be brought back from the dead as a spoiler. However, there is little goodwill for the local boys and it has to be said that Time Out Manchester looks far better resourced than City Life ever was.

6 thoughts on “Time Out Vs City Life

  1. It will be interesting to see a free City Life, wrapped up in a MEN every Friday, go head-to-head with Time Out Manc.

    Especially if the MEN decides to go completely free across the region.

  2. It’s not really the first Time Out, Stephen.

    There was a short-lived version in the 1970s for which I used to review music – and which was edited by no other than Jeremy Beadle!

  3. There should be one online site run without the intervention of any media company. Better use of sites like upcoming.org by organisations would help people using things like Netvibes.com looking for information, find it. There is no real need for time out, or something similar; the times have a changed. There is no point.
    Does anyone think that the Big Issue will suffer?

  4. Hi Alex
    I’m not sure I quite know what you mean when you say there should be one online site run without the intervention of any media company. Can’t anyone set up a website? As for the Big Issue, I guess you’re right to think there’s a risk.

  5. I worked on City Life for 18 of its 22 years, both when it was a workers’ co-op, and then, between Jan 1989-Feb 1995 under Guardian Media Group ownership. If I know anything about something, it’s how to make a success of publishing a quality, informed, and relevant what’s on magazine. City Life was successful, respected, and profitable in its own small way until it went weekly in mid-2003. It then made a fatal error in early 2004 when it appointed as its editor an outsider who had as much knowledge of Manchester as he had of publishing, which was next to none. City Life under his editorship (I won’t dignify him by naming him) became ill-informed, unreliable, and totally irrelevant to life in the city. It was ultimately given away, left unread in hotel lobbies. Like it or not, and it is year-old history now, City Life simply wasn’t worth saving. Time Out were here within weeks of GMG putting City Life out of its largely unread misery, and no wonder. This is a vibrant and happening city, and Time Out will reflect that, much as City Life did in its heyday. The Manchester Evening News has abused its media monopoly for years (it owns far too many outlets; so much for a plurality of media ownership). Time Out is a quality product, and the MEN will regret not supporting City Life.

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