Whatsonstage chief Terri Paddock in shock departure

Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock
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Terri Paddock, the long-serving editorial and managing director of theatre website Whatsonstage, left the company suddenly at the end of 2013, The Stage can reveal.

It is understood that Paddock was dismissed by the company’s new owner in December.

Paddock worked for the website for more than 16 years, having been one of its founding employees when it was launched by Emap Online in 1997. Together with her then business partner David Dobson, she acquired the site from Emap in 2000. Really Useful Group became a major shareholder in the company in 2008, at which point Paddock’s holding in the company was reduced. Whatsonstage was then 100% acquired by Time Out Group in December 2011, before being sold to its current owner, Theatermania.com in December 2012.

The Whatsonstage Awards, which Paddock was instrumental in launching in 2001, is currently in the voting stage and is due to be presented next month.

Neither Paddock nor a representative from Theatermania was available for comment as The Stage went to press. Emails to Paddock’s Whatsonstage address respond with an automated email saying “Terri Paddock is no longer with Whatsonstage”.

The move is the latest in a string of shock dismissals to hit leading theatre journalists. Last year, Stage critic Mark Shenton was dismissed from his role as critic for the Sunday Express, while the Independent on Sunday dismissed all its arts critics, including theatre writer Kate Bassett, in July last year.

3 Comments

  1. yet the execrable Tim Walker continues to offer his ‘criticism’ at the Telegraph? It makes no sense. This won’t be the last we’ve heard of Terri, whose passion for — and knowledge of — theatre is unrivalled.

  2. I agree. There are many people working in the critical world whose heads should have rolled in preference to Terri’s. #boooo

  3. This exit could be down to incompatibility with the new USA owners and their stereotypical desire to flex muscles. With five owners since 1997 the whole outfit, some very good staff, and most importantly the customers, have all suffered.
    Here is my response to WOS’s own survey in early December. Q: What would you like less of on the site? Answer: Much less of WOS taking over the website’s prime slots by advertising its own various services and awards. Today the site is awash with this survey and WOS Awards banners. I suggest it is not good business practice to put your own needs above the needs of customers (producers, shows, theatres and patrons). Your priority is to promote WHATS ON, have you forgotten your raison d’etre? As you should be aware, London’s Theatreland is a highly competitive and saturated market where return on every pound of advertsing spend is critical. What’s On Stage is a vital part of marketing shows but I’m not sure you are using your portal in a manner that serves the industry and customers in the best possible way. Kind Regards… Simply put, I have always thought that WOS was too concerned with its own self-promotion. The back-room-boys in entertainment all too often forget they are not the stars.

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