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.