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February 10, 2014

Brian Attwood to exit The Stage after almost 20 years

By Darren Boyle

The Stage editor Brian Attwood is stepping down from the performing arts bible after almost 20 years in the job.

The 53-year-old journalist is taking the opportunity to support people with autism. He was inspired to do this by his son who has the condition and will require lifelong support.

Attwood said: “I’ve been here in the editor’s chair for almost 20 years. I keep telling people that I would have got less for murder. But I have enjoyed every day of it here at The Stage.

“When you think back, when I first arrived at the office we were using manuals (typewriters) and then electrics. We then jumped forward to using Macs.

“I guess the biggest change in that time has been the digital explosion. That has changed the nature of the game.”

According to Attwood, The Stage now produces three different but complementary products. At one stage the print circulation of the magazine was up to 41,000.

“That was at the turn-of-the-century. That sounds so long ago now.

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“We still have a print editon and some people are still very much wedded to it. We also have a digital edition and then the website. What we have to do is determine what type of content is best suited for which version.

“I do think that a long-form feature is still best suited for print. You might think with the internet you could have an article of any size. But I think there’s a maximum that anyone would want to read.”

Attwood said like most magazines, the challenge is how to monetise their digital offering.

However, despite his decision to exeunt stage left, Attwood is not taking to his sofa with a pair of comfortable slippers.

“As well as the work with autism, I have been working on a book for the past ten years on the Black and Tans in Ireland. It is something I want to get completed and never really had the time”

The Black and Tans were an auxiliary paramilitary police force despatched by Winston Churchill during the Irish War of Independence between 1919 and 1922.

“I have been really lucky to work in an area I have enjoyed. I guess there are other things I could have done as a young journalist.

“I am at a stage now where I don’t really want to have to travel into London every day.”

Attwood steps down at the end of the month. 

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