Davies: “still in love” with title
Time Out editor Laura Lee Davies has quit after 18 years on the title, claiming it was time to give someone else a chance at the helm.
Davies joined the weekly 18 years ago and worked her way up as music editor and features editor before taking over as editor in 1999.
She told Press Gazette she decided to quit after a conference for the Time Out Group in Istanbul. “I felt I’d done so much in this job it was perhaps better to go off and do that somewhere else rather than stay here and do it all over again,” she said.
“Doing this job has become as much as anything a managing editor’s job as well as an editor’s job because the Time Out Group is so big. I do have a taste for management and development – up to a point but definitely still within creative arts.”
Davies said she would not rule out another editorship in the future and will continue as a contributing editor on Time Out. She is also hoping to return to writing about music.
“Having been here for a such a long time, and loving it dearly, it was quite a big decision but I’d rather go while I’m still in love with it, rather than when I got bored of it,” she added.
The announcement came as a surprise to staff, who have known and worked with Davies for several years.
She was a popular choice when she took over from previous editor Vicky Mayer in 1999. Mayer left after just five months amid rumours the “old guard” were unhappy with the new design and feared the title was becoming too populist.
Since Davies has been at the helm, Time Out has seen increased competition from the Evening Standard’s Hot Tickets and the growth of celebrity TV listings titles such as Heat and Closer.
Sales have remained steady – up by 1.9 per cent year on year in the last ABCs to 87,110. Davies has agreed to stay on until the end of July and deputy editor Chris Hemblade will stand in as acting editor.
The title is also believed to be gearing up for a revamp.
By Ruth Addicott