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Time Out Chicago To Go All Digital [UPDATE]

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 19, 2013 9:20PM

2013_3_19_TOC.jpg The Sun-Times, citing sources, reports that Time Out Chicago is ceasing print operations and moving to an all-digital format sometime this spring. There's no firm date as to when the final print edition will hit the streets and TOC President and Editor-in-Chief Frank Sennett declined requests for comment from the Sun-Times and Chicagoist.

Time Out Chicago underwent a redesign in 2011 that also involved a renewed emphasis on balance between the harder news and the arts, culture and music previews and reviews that are their stock-in-trade. Their biggest talent acquisition was bringing aboard respected media critic Robert Feder. They also entered into a content-sharing partnership with local longform sports website ChicagoSide where TOC would publish select content from the website in its print edition.

It was only last summer when Sennett announced TOC's Lollapalooza issue was the magazine's biggest revenue generator since they launched in Chicago eight years ago. At the time, he said "it's still a daily street fight for ad dollars out there."

4:50 p.m. Update: Crain's Chicago Business is reporting TimeOut Chicago owner Joe Mansueto is selling the magazine to London-based Oakley Capital Investments, Ltd., which owns the TimeOut brand in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and London. The magazine's top executives will leave in April and be replaced by a new management team.

March 20, 9:20 a.m. Update: We were wondering when Robert Feder was going to weigh in on this news. He did this morning and the news isn't good for our colleagues at Time Out. According to Feder, most of the current staff will lose their jobs. Feder also suggested the move was months in the making. Owner Joe Mansueto discussed selling the magazine to Wrapports LLC, the parent company that owns Sun-Times Media, last fall. Those talks led to Mansueto and Oakley Capital Investments entering discussions, since Oakley retained the right to match any offers under the 2009 agreement where Mansueto bought TOC.