The founder and former owner of Venue magazine has said today marks a “sad day” for Bristol as the digital edition of the one-time what’s on and entertainment bible closes down.
The remaining staff at Venue were told last month that the digital-only magazine would cease to exist as a separate entity from the end of November.
What’s on and entertainment content is now to be taken on fully by the Bristol Post on a new website.
In an email to staff, managing director of Bristol News and Media – publishers of Venue and owners of the Bristol Post and Western Daily Press – Sarah Pullen said the move was a “fantastic opportunity to grow our digital audience”.
But Dougal Templeton, who founded Venue with a group of fellow journalists in 1982, said parent company Local World would “come to regret” their decision.
“Having taken over the stewardship of a highly regarded, invaluable and profitable organisation, it is distressing to see Venue has finally been driven into the ground,” he told Bristol24-7. “Sacrificed on the altar of boosting the [Bristol] Post’s flagging paper sales.
“It’s a sad day for Bristol and for the many fine journalists and contributors who worked for Venue.
“The one positive outcome from Venue’s closure will be the opportunity for something else to take its place. Local World will come to regret their regressive decision.”
Founded in 1982 by Dougal Templeton and a group of fellow Bristol journalists, the magazine became the definitive guide to life in Bristol, as well as providing a number of investigative reports on health, policing and environmental issues.
Venue was sold to Bristol United Press (BUP), the company which owned the Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press, in 2000.
In 2011, it was announced that the paper version of Venue would end, with group editor Dave Higgett saying falling circulation and advertising revenues were to blame.
The magazine was retained as part of the Folio magazine but this arrangement ended in 2012, with Venue going online only. The website is due to close later today.