BBC set to relaunch The Listener as an online magazine

In a surprise move, BBC Online is to revive the defunct arts and literary magazine The Listener in web format on 27 January.

In a surprise move, BBC Online is to revive the defunct arts and

literary magazine The Listener in web format on 27 January.



The online version will carry the same range of opinion and commentary

on culture, politics and the media as the printed edition did, and will

feature cartoons. There will be access to audio and possibly video

broadcasts and links to other sites. Users will be able to interact with

the site by posting comments.



The conversion of such an august title to an electronic format is an

unusual adaptation, especially as it will not contain any radio

listings.



A BBC spokesman said listings had not been considered since the site

will be, at least initially, a one-off trial. If successful, the site

will be updated and made ’live’.



The Listener project is being used as a test for further BBC magazine

conversions to the internet.



BBC Online expects the internet editions of its magazines to grow

significantly this year and Greg Dyke, the incoming director-general, is

thought to be keen to accelerate the BBC’s online plans.



The Listener closed in 1991 after sales had shrunk to 17,000, incurring

annual losses of around pounds 1 million.



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