As of today, Limelight Magazine has a new editor in Jo Litson. She takes the reins from Clive Paget, who relocated to New York in September and is serving as Editor at Large for the foreseeable future. Jo was first commissioned by Clive for Limelight in 2015, requiring her to interview opera superstar Angela Gheorghiu over the phone at midnight. “When a writer doesn’t bat an eyelid, you know you are onto someone special”, Clive said.
Clive has worked at Limelight for five years – first as Online Editor, then as Deputy Editor under Francis Merson, becoming Editor in 2014. The magazine has seen tremendous change under his steady, inspired hand.
Clive Paget and Jo Litson. Photo © Sam Grimmer
“Clive’s considered leadership over the past four years during the start-up phase of Arts Illuminated (the publishing company that now manages Limelight) has not only been a major part of ensuring the ongoing viability of Limelight, but also an enormous growth of coverage, both in the breadth of genre and amount of content, without ever compromising on quality”, said Andrew Batt-Rawden, publisher of Limelight. “He is indefatigable, and has developed into one of the most significant commentators on the arts in Australia. No doubt, his new ventures will lead him to have a more global voice”.
Jo joined Limelight as Deputy Editor in August 2016, working closely with Clive in this time. She has 30 years of experience working as a freelance arts writer for publications including The Australian, The Bulletin, Sydney Theatre Company’s Backstage magazine, and the Sunday Telegraph, where she has been the arts writer and theatre reviewer since 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English and Drama from Birmingham University in the UK.
“Jo has been a part of Australian arts journalism for a long time, a talented and highly-respected writer with a passion for the performing arts, and experience with multiple facets of editing, writing, journalism and publishing in a range of contexts”, said Andrew. “We’ve been lucky to have her on board as Deputy Editor and we’re looking forward to an exciting era for Limelight as she takes on the Editorship”.
“I can’t think of anyone with Jo’s experience of the Australian arts scene”, said Clive. “Her encyclopaedic knowledge, gained over decades in the business, is aligned with an uncanny ability for sensing what’s next. And she has all the tenacity and guts you might expect from an ol’ skool journo. Not only has she taught me a thing or two, she’s one of the most decent souls you could ever meet”.
“I feel very excited and very privileged to be taking on the job of Editor of Limelight, following Clive’s relocation to New York”, said Jo. “It is a magazine that I have always loved, and have written for as a freelancer off and on over the years, starting when it was 24 Hours under Suzy Baldwin’s editorship back in the 1990s”.
“Clive is an impossible act to follow. There can be very few people who are able to combine his incredible depth of knowledge across classical music, opera and musicals (including the most obscure imaginable) with such a lively, entertaining writing style. He is a gem of a person to boot. Happily he is continuing to work for Limelight as Editor at Large and will continue to write interviews, features and the occasional review for us”.
“What’s more, I am blessed with a small but talented and very committed editorial team – Angus McPherson, the new Deputy Editor, and Justine Nguyen, our new staff writer. Angus is also a classical flautist and Justine has a formidable knowledge of opera. Both started at Limelight as interns, quickly proving themselves invaluable assets to the magazine. So moving forward, I couldn’t be working with a better team of people”.