Time Out set to launch Leeds website


On the up: Leeds is to have its own online version on Time Out. Photo courtesy Leeds City Council virtual newsroom

Move over Paris, Madrid, New York and London! Leeds is set to rub shoulders with some of the biggest cities in the world when it gets its own online version of Time Out magazine.

In case you didn’t know Time Out has, since 1968, been THE bible for entertainment, events, and everything that’s happening in the most exciting cities in the world. It’s arguably one of the biggest names in the publishing world.

And they’ve been advertising for a ‘Digital Content Producer’ for a new website it’s going to be launching in Leeds.

The move, which will see the role split between sites in Leeds and Manchester, is interesting on a couple of levels.

Locally because the website will fill a gap in the listings and entertainment market never properly occupied since dear old Leeds Guide sadly folded two years ago. It’s also a shot across the bow for some of Leeds Guide’s successors like the increasingly popular – and local – Leeds List.

Time Out’s interest in Leeds reflects the city’s burgeoning reputation as a tourist destination – check out the full list of major cities Time Out covers globally here – and a city that’s on the up. The recent openings of the Trinity Leeds shopping and leisure development and Leeds Arena, building work starting on Victoria Gate and this weekend’s spectacular Grand Depart are testament to the optimism surrounding the city.

Time Out’s arrival is also interesting from a professional point of view.

For decades media in Leeds has had the same two major players – the BBC and the Yorkshire Post/Yorkshire Evening Post. While there have been media startups, such as Leeds Guide, it’s legacy media that has dominated the publishing landscape.

But in recent years there has been a proliferation of startups and blogs challenging them as the media landscape fragments, for example The City Talking (in print, online, on social media and now an app), Leeds List, The Culture Vultures, and my own Guardian Leeds, and The Leeds Guardian to name but a few.

Of course, the Guardian’s Local Project came and went – it’ll be interesting to see how Time Out fares in what is a remarkably similar model.

My role as a beatblogger on Guardian Leeds was to not only provide multimedia content, but also to encourage guest blogging, curate existing local content or user generated content (UGC), engage with punters on social media and in comments and forge local partnerships. It reflected The Guardian’s ‘Open Journalism‘ ethos.

The Time Out position is very similar, with the exception that you need to be covering TWO big cities instead of one (which is no mean feat). Check out the job description below:

In my job as a journalism and digital media lecturer I’ve already highlighted to my students the wide range of skills employers are now demanding from potential employees – it’s beyond recognition from 10 years ago.

It will make for an interesting and demanding role for someone. Let’s hope Time Out sticks around Leeds longer than The Guardian did when it came knocking.


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