The magazine was founded in September 1983, from an office on the Earls Court Road by Ghadir Razuki. His family had left Iraq for the UK in 1968 when Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, then led by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, came to power. He regularly socialised with Australians and New Zealanders, and after recognising the difficulty friends faced getting regular news and sport updates from home, Ghadir, then aged 22, set about creating a weekly magazine to meet the needs of the hundreds of thousands of Aussies, Kiwis and Saffas who visit London (South Africans did not arrive in large numbers until the post-apartheid era in the early 1990s). The first edition had only 48 pages, but within several years this had increased to 350 pages, with a weekly print run of 75,000.
The UK version was the first magazine to reach readers via distribution bins in key areas across London. It was also available from pubs, hostels and travel agents, then later from internet cafes. The Australian and New Zealand versions followed the same distribution methods.
In the UK, it is aimed at Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans living, working and travelling in the UK (though mostly in London). In Australia, the magazine is aimed at British, Irish, European and, increasingly, North American travellers. The magazine focuses on travel, jobs, accommodation, plus news and sport from home, and offers tips on living in London (UK version) and Australasia (Australia & New Zealand versions).
TNT UK also publishes a guide to the UK and Ireland for Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans planning to move to the UK or Ireland, while TNT Downunder produces a similar annual title targeting those wanting to travel (and in many cases move) to Australia, New Zealand or Fiji.
TNT Multimedia, which owns the UK magazine, also owns South African Times and South African Times.co.uk, and brings out quarterly teaching and finance directories, among other ad hoc supplements.
TNTMagazine.com, linked to the UK magazine, was relaunched in October 2008 having previously existed under various urls.
TNT Jobs - a standalone jobs board, advertises jobs in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The magazine also runs regular travel and recruitment exhibitions for its readers, as well as an annual travel writing and photography awards competition.
Use of the TNT name
It was originally intended to be the Independent Travel and News, however this clashed with Independent Television News, so Ghadir came up with The News and Travel – TNT. A letter was written to the Australian-founded freight company, TNT, who did not object to the new magazine's name. However, two years later, TNT freight's chairman, on a visit from Australia in London, snared a copy of the magazine from opposite Harrods. The magazine soon got a letter saying it could not use the TNT name. Ghadir had kept TNT freight’s initial approval letter, which settled matters in his favour.
In September 2013, TNT Multimedia was formally put into administration.
- Jacquie Bowser (17 November 2008). "Free weekly title TNT Magazine celebrates 25 years". Brand Republic.
- "TNT magazine put into administration". australiantimes.co.uk. 17 September 2013.