Thursday 20 October 2011

BBC staff magazine Ariel to close after 75 years

The BBC is closing the print version of Ariel, its staff magazine, which has been published for 75 years.

It is part of the latest round of cuts which will see the BBC's communications division shed 30 posts.

Ariel Online will continue to carry BBC staff news and views.

Four posts will be lost from the existing Ariel team along with comms jobs across the division, as it seeks to make 25% savings.

Candida Watson, Ariel editor for the last two years, said that compared with the cuts across the Corporation, the end of the magazine "pales into insignificance".

But added: "That doesn't make it any less of a shock to the long-serving staff who produce Ariel, to our regular correspondents who make the letters page a thing of occasional joy and frequent conversation, or to those who like to pick up the paper and read it quietly in a break, or take it to read on the journey home.

"And how will certain tabloids fill their diary columns now?"

Watson also said: "I know staff will be sad to see it go, and that the online version is different to the print issue; I know some people will see it as a none-too-subtle way of diminishing internal criticism of BBC management.

"It is true that the current Ariel online site has no comment facility on stories, but that is something we are working to address. We still have a letters 'page' and readers can still comment on any issue that they want to raise, and in the online only Ariel you won't have to wait a week to see your letter printed."

The final printed Ariel will be published at the end of December.

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