Terrorism may have Israelis despondent and extra vigilant, but the debut of Time Out Tel Aviv shows they’re not hiding in their homes.
The latest incarnation of the magazine well known in New York for its detailed chronicling of nightlife and urban recreation, Time Out Tel Aviv hit the newsstands last week. "In these times we try to keep life as normal as possible and that’s what we want to give to our readers," says editor Ronit Heber. "You can call it our own little denial for us and all who read us"
The debut issue featured a piece on the perfect day in Tel Aviv and a profile of the new Turkish-Mediterranean singing sensation Daniel Solomon. Like its sister publications, Time Out Tel Aviv steers clear of opinion or politics.
"The spirit is lifestyle, entertainment and fun," says Heber.
The magazine does not, however, represent foreign investment in Israel. The Tel Aviv-based Yuval Sigler Media and Publishing Group purchased the rights to the magazine name for an undisclosed sum from Time Out Group in London, which runs the magazine in that city and licenses the name in New York.
Time Out Group chairman Tony Elliot told the Jewish Week in a telephone interview that making the deal in economically depressed Israel was a cinch because "we’ve got zero risk. If the whole thing goes bust it wouldn’t directly affect us at all." The Sigler Group paid in advance a percentage of income against the anticipated revenues.
Elliot added, "We would never dream of doing it on our own, but when an Israeli company came to us and said they wanted a license, we said ‘fantastic.’" After reviewing the first issue, which had a press run of 50,000 copies, he said the Sigler group was "committed to doing the job right" and that the issue was consistent with his company’s mission of "trying to tell people everything that’s happening, what’s worthwhile" without preconceptions and with strict separation between advertising and editorial.
Heber said feedback from the first issue of Time Out showed that the magazine made staff and readers feel like Tel Aviv is "part of the big world."