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Students take ‘time out’ to visit NYC-based magazine

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Becton’s mass media and journalism students recently visited Time Out magazine in Times Square to learn about career opportunities in print media.

On the 42nd floor of the Viacom building, a select group of students enrolled in two of Becton’s English electives, received the opportunity to tour the building and converse via a question and answer segment with Jill Anthony, the New York editor, and Melissa Hediger, a Becton alumna who is a sales manager for premium profiles.

Time Out magazine provides on-trend information about NYC nightlife, restaurants, theatre, events, film, music, art and comedy. The weekly magazine started serving the city in the 1990s but debuted in London, England in the 1960s by Tony Elliot who is currently an active board member. The free magazine is printed every Wednesday, but its recommendations are accessible at all times on timeout.com/newyork.

Students’ questions during the interview session pertained to the magazine’s free cost, layout and design and advertisements. Anthony mentioned to the students that “more people like free magazines because they attract more advertisers” for the print publication, and they attract more sponsors for the website as well. In fact, the company pulls in over 9,000 ad impressions a month for the website, and the staff works as one team when publishing for their digital and print issues.

When asked about Anthony’s successes, her response included a list of celebrities that she has interviewed thus far, such as: Roxanne Gaye, Bridget Everett and Kurt Vile. She further provided tips to the students that would potentially benefit them in writing for the print industry, for instance, how to keep a constructive and organized interview going smoothly by never repeating the same questions, completing prior research, knowing how to guide the conversation naturally and being ready to take notes. Anthony concluded by stating, “Take every opportunity you have to write what you want.”

Moreover, even though during the Q & A session Hediger claimed “working in Times Square is a love/hate relationship,” she eagerly declared her love for the company. She went on to explain the advertising process and how advertisers know if their ads are being seen. “All of our premium profile clients get a dashboard in which they can login and track their successes in a program. They can see how many page views, website clicks, bookings, etc. that they have accrued,” she said. She also shared with the students the cost of the ads pending page length and size. As a matter of fact, the November 8-14, 2017 issue featured a $30-50 thousand cover-wrap advertisement, a cost which surprised many students.

Both Anthony and Hediger, who majored in communications at their respective universities, talked about the daily grind of working in corporate America. “The hours here are pretty good compared to a lot of other places; a lot of workers are happy with the hours they work,” said the interviewees. Regardless, the staff is under a lot of pressure whether they are writing an article or pitching ad space. “Each team has targets, deadlines and quotas that they need to hit,” Hediger stated. Both women went on by advising the students “to work hard and stay humble” because both attributes will undoubtedly lead to a successful career.

For their commendable work, Time Out magazine celebrates through their personal awards, the Time Out Love New York Awards. The magazine has bestowed Love Awards for best bars, best restaurants and best cafes in the city. Time Out’s reviews of these places do not only benefit their ratings, but help people discover new places to eat or drink in the city in which they are not familiar. The magazine awarded places that include Bread (restaurant), Coffee Project New York (cafe) and Wave Hill (cultural venue).

Overall, the trip to the Big Apple was an educational and memorable experience for the students. They left with a better understanding of the daily ins-and-outs of career life and how a magazine is published and created for both print and digital platforms, but most excitedly, Becton students departed with their very own copy of the November 15, 2017 issue.

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The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Students take ‘time out’ to visit NYC-based magazine