News, Culture & Society

‘Visionary’ Time Out founder Tony Elliott who launched magazine during a summer holiday dies aged 73

‘Visionary’ Time Out founder Tony Elliott who launched magazine during a university summer holiday dies aged 73

  • Tony published the first edition at his mum’s house in Kensington back in 1968
  • The then 21-year-old found there was no single source for those wanting  information on going out in London so decided to create his own magazine
  • Former colleagues at Time Out offices around the world have paid tribute to him and the magazine will dedicate next month’s edition to honour his memory 

The founder of entertainment and listings magazine Time Out, Tony Elliott, has died aged 73.

He had been suffering from lung cancer ‘for a long time’, according to a statement from the company’s chief executive Julio Bruno on LinkedIn.

A statement from Time Out said: ‘It is with great sadness that we announce that Time Out’s founder Tony Elliott passed away on July 16, after a long illness.

‘Tony was a visionary publisher, a tireless champion of city culture and a staunch friend.

‘He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Time Out magazine founder Tony Elliott has died at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer

Tony Elliott said in an interview he created the magazine after realising there was no single source for information about going out in London

Tony was honoured by the real Queen Elizabeth II who appointed him CBE in 2017 for his services to publishing

Tony, pictured here with a Queen Elizabeth II lookalike at the magazine’s 10th anniversary, has been described as a ‘visionary’ by his former colleagues who will publish a tribute next month

‘His life and his work inspired millions of people who did not have the good fortune to know him personally.’

The magazine’s first post-lockdown print edition, which will be published next month, will be a special issue dedicated to Elliott, the statement concluded.

Elliott founded the magazine in 1968 during his summer vacation from Keele University and produced its first edition on his mother’s kitchen table in Kensington, according to Time Out’s website.

The magazine subsequently branched out to cover major cities across the globe.

It went weekly in 1971 and became essential reading for fans of food, music, theater, movies and art.

The first issue of Time Out magazine was published in 1968 and is now available in 58 countries

Tony sold half his share in 2010 but stayed on as chairman of the magazine

The magazine became essential reading for fans of food, music, theatre, movies and art in 1971 

Time Out New York was launched in 1995, followed by similar publications in cities around the world, as well as a series of travel guides.

Time Out says its content, now largely online, covers 328 cities in 58 countries.

In 2010, Elliott sold half of his share to a private equity firm, though he stayed on as chairman.

Two years later, the flagship London edition was relaunched as a free magazine and the firm branched out to cover half a dozen more UK cities.

Elliott was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to publishing. 

Mr Bruno added that Elliott ‘would not allow’ his illness to stop him.

‘It was remarkable to see,’ he said.

‘He kept looking at the world with those inquisitive eyes, with that innate curiosity that very few possess in such measure.

Tony attending an art exhibition in London in 2014 at the Royal Academy of Arts

Tony attending an art exhibition in London in 2014 at the Royal Academy of Arts

‘And he was so very proud of his baby until the end: Time Out.’

Former colleagues paid tribute to him on Twitter. Adam Feldman, who is New York theatre editor and critic for the magazine, credited Tony with creating ‘Time Out as a self-published, self-distributed insider guide to London culture while he was on a summer break from college in 1968, and then grew it into a global media empire’.

Frank Sennett, who worked for the Chicago edition of the publication, said Elliott ‘was someone from whom I learned a lot over the years’ and: ‘He will be missed.’ 

Speaking to Keele University on the 50th anniversary of the magazine, Elliott said he started the brand ‘because it was hard to find out where to go and decide what to do in London: there was not one single place to find the information’.

‘So I effectively created a publication for myself.’