Northcliffe’s Bristol and Bath entertainments mag to close

A Bristol and Bath entertainments and listings magazine owned by Northcliffe will publish its final edition next month because of decline ad sales.

Venue magazine, which was launched in 1982, is being close by its parent company once it has finished its commitment to publish two final editions in the coming weeks.

The last issue is expected to by number 962 which will be published on 16 March – several redundancies are expected as a result of the closure.

Joe Spurgeon, Venue editor, broke the news last week on the Venue website, saying: "If you follow the local news, blogging world, Twitter or indulge in the odd spate of pub gossip, you may have heard that we are facing closure.

"This is true. A relatively small decline in readership coupled with a thundering decline in ad revenue has meant that what we do is no longer sustainable."

Spurgeon said that senior staff at the magazine were considering possible rescue packages and a Facebook group has been established to help garner support for the local arts magazine. He urged locals to buy copies of the magazine to try and help keep it in business.

Group editor Dave Higgett explained to Bristol247 how falling circulation and declines in advertising revenues were blame for the closure.

"Over the last four years, Venue Magazine has experienced a steady decline in terms of both circulation and advertising revenue," he said.

"Cost cutting has failed to plug this gap. Print prices have actually increased.

"This year's budget required Venue to hit all targets to merely break even. This has not happened. In fact, the downward trends have accelerated.

"None of this is the fault of the staff and contributors who have made Venue such an amazing product for so many years. Their stalwart efforts to fight these trends and maintain standards have been inspirational.

"But the market has changed, reading habits have changed, spending habits have changed, and the double dip feels like it's already here."

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