Here's an interesting piece from the Londonist on the sad demise of TimeOut Comedy, in which I'm briefly name-checked.
For those that don't know, TimeOut have announced their new mission statement to become a "global commerce platform in the key vertical categories," which is a very weird and unsavoury-sounding little soundbite, and one which has resulted in a number of key areas being axed from the magazine, including its comedy section, which has long been a staple of the comedy community and helped to support great independent comedy and bring it to a wider audience that wouldn't otherwise have known about it. Ben Williams in particular, who has been TimeOut's Comedy Editor for the last few years, has been enormously supportive and hard-working and his support has meant a lot to me and many others.
Nonetheless, however sad the series of decisions that led TimeOut to this conclusion may be, it's more important to praise what a great hub it was for many years than to despair over its cancellation. If the commercial goals of TimeOut as an entity no longer chime with its championing of independent creative people, then it's more important for talented people like Ben to move on to bigger and better things than just to feel sad about the end of something. I'm very excited to see whatever he does next, and the absence of TimeOut Comedy in the future leaves the way open for some new creative hub to take its place. I'm sure whatever it ends up being will be just as diverse and exciting. So many thanks to TimeOut Comedy for all their support over the years, and here's to the next thing, whatever it may be.