Last year, Whatsonstage.com merged interests with Theatregoer Magazine, launching the new regime with our June 2005 issue which featured Friends’ cover boy David Schwimmer, then appearing in the West End in Some Girl(s) (See News, 5 Apr 2005). For the first birthday issue of our sister print title this June, we’re celebrating with another addition to our editorial team – the appointment of Foss, already a frequent contributor across both of our publications and the creator and presenter of our podcasting service, Whatsonstage.com Radio - as editor of the magazine.
In his new role, Foss will be working closely with the rest of our in-house team, including Terri Paddock (editorial director across both the website and magazine) and former Daily Mail critic Michael Coveney (from April, contributing editor and chief critic for Whatsonstage.com – See News, 9 Mar 2006), as well as regular magazine contributors like Guardian drama critic Michael Billington. And he will join the advisory panel for Whatsonstage.com’s annual audience-voted Theatregoers' Choice Awards.
For the past ten years, Foss has been at What’s On in London magazine, working as chief theatre critic and, for the past five years, as editorial director. On a freelance basis, he has written for a wide range of other publications, ranging from City Limits and The Stage to Tribune and Debrett’s, in addition to Theatregoer and Whatsonstage.com. He is probably the only theatre writer in the UK to have had a successful career on stage, television and recording as a boy actor, including the long-running children’s TV series Sexton Blake. He has written three Christmas shows and is co-author of Harden’s Theatregoers’ Handbook, which is now distributed by Whatsonstage.com. Over the past decade, he has also become a radio broadcaster on theatre topics, and can be heard regularly as a contributor on the popular Steve Allen Show on LBC9.7.3.
Commenting on Foss’ appointment, Terri Paddock said: “We’ve always valued Roger’s superb contributions to both Whatsonstage.com and Theatregoer. It’s very exciting to have him now coming on board as Theatregoer editor, bringing with him his many years of both magazine and theatre experience. I can’t wait to work with him. With Michael Coveney and now Roger joining our ranks, we really do feel we have an unbeatable editorial team across both of our titles.”
Foss added: “I’m delighted and totally thrilled to be joining Theatregoer, which I have always regarded as the top theatre magazine in the UK. I’ve long admired the team for their total commitment to high-quality, lively and informative theatre journalism, so to be invited to become part of it is in many ways a dream job. I’m very much looking forward to working with them on developing the magazine to even greater heights.”
Launched by Madeleine Lloyd Webber as part of the Really Useful Group in October 2000, Theatregoer quickly established itself as the leading consumer title for people with a passion for theatre. After the merger with Whatsonstage.com last year, a new distribution model was introduced for the magazine, making it freely available for all theatregoers, while supplies last, in participating venues. For each cover month now, 80,000 copies of Theatregoer are distributed in more than 30 London theatres - including the National, the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court and 14 commercial West End venues – as well as 250 leading four- and five-star London hotels, select private members’ clubs and tourist bureaux. More than 2,500 avid theatregoers who want to guarantee their copies, and take advantage of the benefits of the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Club, are paid-for subscribers to the magazine.
Whatsonstage.com celebrates ten years as the UK’s leading theatre website this year. Named one of the top 100 websites in the world by Internet Magazine and the Daily Mail, it is the only comprehensive UK theatre guide on the web, with a listings database of some 5,500-plus performances nationwide, as well as unrivalled theatre news, reviews, interviews, gossip, surveys, ticket offers, competitions and lively discussion boards. Recent additions to the website have included two new multimedia services, Whatsonstage.com Radio and Whatsonstage.com TV as well as a new picture gallery feature for 1st Night Photos.
Launched by Emap in 1996, Whatsonstage.com was acquired via a management buy-out in October 2000. More than 75,000 theatregoers subscribe to the site’s weekly email newsletter, while – at last count – over 350,000 visit the website each month, generating more than 2.8 million monthly page impressions. Whatsonstage.com also runs the Theatregoers’ Club, born out of our ever-popular Outings in which we take hundreds of people at a time to top London shows, and the annual Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, now in their sixth year, the only major London theatre awards decided by the paying public.
- by Terri Paddock