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Time Out London to become a free magazine this fall, broadening its reach, editor says

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LONDON - The London edition of popular listings magazine Time Out will become free in autumn to broaden its reach, its editor-in-chief said Thursday.

Tim Arthur said more than 300,000 copies of the magazine, which focuses on entertainment and eating out in the British capital, will be given away in London every week, replacing the paid-for edition. The magazine did not disclose an exact date for the re-launch.

The move followed research among readers and advertisers who said they would welcome a free entertainment weekly, the magazine said in a statement.

The changes are in line with Time Out London's plans to focus on developing its digital products, including its online presence and apps for the iPad and smartphones. The magazine already puts most of its content on its website.

The magazine currently sells about 50,000 copies a week, mostly to subscribers. It sells for 3.25 pounds ($5) on newsstands.

The free version of the weekly will have fewer pages and no longer contain television listings, which will be available on the Time Out London website.

Time Out was founded in 1968 as a London listings magazine and now covers 37 cities in 25 different countries. Last year, private equity firm Oakley Capital acquired a 50 per cent stake in the business, boosting investment in Time Out London's website and digital products.

Other editions of the magazine, including Time Out Paris, will remain paid-for publications.

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