MEDIA PROFILE: Readers look for Time Out from New York's hustle and bustle

With responsive editors and frequent issues, Time Out New York is a dream for PR practitioners looking to have their clients stand out in a city with endless options.

With responsive editors and frequent issues, Time Out New York is a dream for PR practitioners looking to have their clients stand out in a city with endless options.

In the face of a firestorm of media saying it was destined to fail because it could not compete with The Village Voice, Time Out New York has evolved into the guide of all things hip in the world's most happening city. Two years after its inception in 1995, The Village Voice became a free publication, while Time Out went on to be compared with New York Magazine and other renowned city publications. Just as its London counterpart has been doing since 1968, Time Out's New York version has become a virtual bible for New Yorkers who typically find themselves faced with too many entertainment options. Representing clients who depend on recognition in a city where options for entertainment outweigh the number of media outlets can be a daunting task. Fortunately, New York's self-proclaimed "obsessive guide to impulsive entertainment," as it states on each issue, is a pitchable outlet that reaches far and wide. Time Out New York boasts a circulation of more than 120,000, with approximately 100,000 copies coming from subscriptions and the other 20,000 from newsstand sales. Of the 120,000, it estimates the pass-along rate to be 2.4 readers per copy. The majority of readers are single (70%) and have graduated from college (97%). Thirty-five is the median age of readers - 60% of which are female - and they make an average of $149,000 per year. Despite its "very downtown feel," which editorial coordinator Louise Gore suspects might be because the majority of the magazine's staff lives in Brooklyn, the largest percentage of Time Out subscribers live on the Upper East and Upper West Sides of New York. An editorial calendar is not published (contributions to features are solicited by editors), but the majority of the magazine's pages are filled with newsworthy items for which a 10-day to two-week lead time is required. Due to the timely nature of the weekly, editors are dependent on the many ideas they are pitched from outside sources. The publication essentially functions as a conglomerate of its many different sections - Around Town, Art, Books and Poetry, Cabaret, Check Out, Clubs, Comedy, Dance, Eat Out, Film, Gay and Lesbian, Kids, Music, Radio, Sports, Technology, Television, Theatre and Video - all of which are run by individual editors. "All of our editors are open to pitches, as long as it is appropriate for their section," says Alex Mitchell, publicity and promotions senior manager for the publication. She notes that Around Town and Gay and Lesbian are sections that tend to be more open to unique pitches that might not obviously fall into a given category. Editors prefer to have information sent to their e-mail addresses, which all follow the same format - first name followed by the first initial of their last name @ timeoutny.com (alexm@timeoutny.com, for example). Gore hints, "It also doesn't hurt to follow up your e-mail with a fax or mailed letter." She warns, however, not to pitch or follow up with phone calls. Depending on the section, sometimes the editor also serves as the writer. But in other cases, there might be an editor plus a writer(s) working on the section. Theatre, for example, is run by an editor and written by the assigned writer, while Clubs is a one-person shop. Because the publication commonly uses freelance writers, Time Out recommends that PR pros always pitch the section's editor to ensure the information is directed appropriately. "I recently pitched Time Out's technology editor, Angela Gunn," tells Jeremy Pyle, AE for Hill & Knowlton, "and I was honestly surprised at how gracious and patient she was when the meeting time had to be changed. Our client eventually met with Angela and later told us it was one of the highlights of their visit to New York City." Kelly Cahill, SAE for BTC PR, had an equally pleasant experience with an accommodating Time Out staffer - Katherine Wheelock, writer for the Check Out section - when she pitched her on one of her agency's New York hotel clients. "Katherine actually stayed a night at the hotel and was so eager to have all the details for her story. Since then I have always been able to go back to her with timely information and she is very responsive." Approachable as the publication's staff may be, Mitchell points out that relevance to the magazine's mission is most important when pitching. "Time Out New York is not about celebrities, gossip, or fashionistas. We are about New York City." ------------ Contact list Time Out New York Address 627 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY 10012 Tel/Fax (212) 539-4444/673-8382 Website www.timeoutny.com Section editors Billie Cohen (Around Town); Maureen Shelly (Books/Poetry); Zoe Wolff (Check Out); Bruce Tantum (Clubs); Maile Carpenter (Eat Out); Darren D'Addario (Film); Les Simpson (Gay/ Lesbian); Steve Smith (Music, classical and opera); Elisabeth Vincentelli (Music, rock, jazz, etc.); Brett Martin (Sports); Michael Friedson (TV)

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