Fears of exodus at BBC Mags after Kidman Cox quits

Kidman Cox: resigned this week

The resignation of Rosamund Kidman Cox after 23 years as editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine is expected to be the first of several high-profile departures from BBC Magazines.

Her decision to quit follows the BBC’s decision to put its specialist titles under the control of Bristolbased Origin Publishing, which it acquired last month.

The takeover has led to the transfer of BBC Music and BBC History magazines from London to Bristol. BBC History staff were told on Wednesday that the Origin-owned rival Living History would be merged into their magazine.

BBC Wildlife Magazine is already based in Bristol but Kidman Cox’s decision is believed to be linked to Origin’s new cost-effective approach to take the magazine forward.

There are understood to be plans to reduce the editorial budget and the 10-strong editorial team.

Kidman Cox declined to comment on her reasons for going, except to say: “Obviously I am very sad to be leaving.

I’m standing down as editor as the magazine enters a new era. I wish it well and very much hope it will continue to chronicle our relationship with nature and be the international forum it set out to be 41 years ago.”

Sources predict further departures, pointing out that Kidman Cox had built up an “enormously loyal team”.

The BBC has anticipated a number of redundancies. Greg Neale, editor of BBC History Magazine, and Helen Wallace, editor of BBC Music Magazine, were also considering their positions this week.

The BBC hit back at accusations of dumbing down by supporters of BBC Wildlife Magazine, who echoed the fears of staff that the BBC was putting profits before editorial integrity.

A BBC spokesman said: “We have absolutely no intention of dumbing down any of our magazines. It is ridiculous to suggest that just because Origin produces craft titles it cannot produce a history or wildlife magazine — just as we publish Tweenies and Good Food.”

By Ruth Addicott

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