Monday, 21 May 2007

What next for 7DAYS?

Like all the best Emirates Today exclusives, we're slightly slow off the mark on this one. Unlike Emirates Today, it was because we were checking our facts (and because our 7DAYS moles have gone undercover).

Editor extraordinaire Neil Sawyer is indeed out, as is his predecessor and (apparently) the MD too. Could this spell the end for Dubai's spunkiest paper? Or will Associated Newspapers step in and save the day?

We're just trying to locate a 7DAYS employee from beneath the bottom of a pint glass to confirm details, so if anyone can fill in the gaps, please go ahead.

97 comments:

the insider said...

Sales director Steve Lee now becomes chief operating officer....

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that they've spent a bit of money revamping their website. Perhaps they see their focus as online?

A bit like that great newly launched newspaper Arabian Business

Anonymous said...

anyone got any stories as to the nature of said sacking. Was he hauled into the office and told to go? Was it for general incompetence or was there one event which caused his downfall. Any ideas where NS is now? Odds on him surfacing as a director at Concept or ITP?

curious said...

maybe NS will end up at AMG?

Anonymous said...

Most intriguing: Anil Bhoyrul spotted leaving the 7Days offices late last night. I reckon they were interviewing him for the job.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 13.31. The chances of Bhoyrul (who was not spotted leaving 7DAYS offices yesterday or at any time in the last 15 months) being offered a job at 7DAYS are similar to Neil Sawyer getting another job which doesn't involve the phrase: 'Do you want fires with that?'

Anonymous said...

or 'fries' even...!

dxbhack said...

anon at 16.57

In Dubai there is a very good chance that NS will get another top ranking job...so should we expect AB to be trotting up to 7days-ville soon?

ITP staffer said...

Sawyer is unlikely to get another job in journalism in the UAE. He's been sacked from two jobs inside five months and made an appalling mess of his first (and last) editorship.

I understand that it could really have not gone any worse for Sawyer, that he was a disaster from start to finish and a failure on every level.

7dyas staffer I know (7days staff have been asked/warned to stay off blogs in regard to the Sawyer sacking) says that NS would do well to consider a career change as he has no ability as a journalist whatsoever, and has a repellent personality to boot.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 17.03.

Sawyer is finished in 'top level' journalism. Not only in the UAE, but in the UK as well. He's infamous in both countries and the CV is in tatters.

Having said that, he'd be perfect for Emirates Today: incompetent, obsequious, bullying, deluded, lazy, weak, grasping, calculated...

Perfect for a senior position at AMG.

Anonymous said...

yeah, apparently, sawyer felt it wasn't his duty to close the paper.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 21.25.

You're not even scratching the surface, mate.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 01:32

i'm all ears

not AMG employee said...

anon @ 01.32 - are you a renegade 7Days staffer commenting on a blog!! go on my son!

ITP journo said...

Not a 7days staffer, I'm ITP. However, I worked with Sawyer in the UK (so I know what he's like) and I have more than a couple of friends at 7days.

Npyhing really shcoking about the departure, I'm told. Sawyer had been given a warning about his attitutde fairly early on in his brief tenure but he was unable to turn around the staff, to whom he was a figure of fun as well as revulsion.

Things didn't get any better - I was told (repeatedly) that they got worse - and so a couple of weeks back he was jettisoned in a meeting with the 7days top brass.

He's not been heard of since. Might have already buggered off, who knows? As a previous poster said, he'd be ideal for AMG.

I worked with Sawyer at Associated in the UK. I've simply never met anyone like him. He's very false, very unpleasant and utterly devoid of any journalistic talent. Worryingly, he seems convinved he is some sort of superstar. Everyone at the Standard hated his guts bar a few management, he does have some talent for sucking up to the boss.

I know a couple of 7days staff quite well and there are apparently a couple of stories regarding Sawyer's departure which are very juicy. Despite the fact that I'm dying to know as I'm familiar with Sawyer myself, I'm told I'l have to wait as the aim is for Sawyer's sacking to make as little a spalsh as possible.

Anonymous said...

I thought that NS was a great guy.

However i hear that 7Days stafers did not want to accept anyone new after the departure of TM. And more than one of them thought they should be the new ed.

And that he was under enormos pressure from sales to steer a far more commercial course.

So who is the new editor?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Neil for your comments, far fetched and innacurate though they may be.

Meeja Watcher said...

I didn't buy the Boyrul story either - But I've just heard something (involving ITP) that makes it seem a bit more likely...

Anonymous said...

I worked with NS and I definetely butted heads with him, But I would never think to go on this site and shoot off my mouth, raking the guy over the coals like some of the posters. Yeah he was unliked, but stop drawing the guy into some evil caricature. He had some good points as well. I wish him luck and hope he learns from his mistakes.

ITP staffer said...

Anon @14.42.

You are either Neil Sawyer or on drugs. They guy is an utter, utter dickhead. He got sacked from an UNLAUNCHED newspaper for goodness sake.

The points you make about 7days staff are not accurate. They wanted rid becuase he was clueless, incompetent, lazy and offensive.

It happened at Gulf News and then, in quicker time, at 7days. Both sets of staff must be in the wrong then?

Anon @ 15.29. We admire your restraint. As you can see, not all of us who worked with that 'man' (believe me, you don't know the half of it) can show such charity. There's no 'eveil caricature' painting going on that I can see. If anything, it's all quite mild compared to what could be written.

Anonymous said...

Meeja Watcher. Bhoyrul has been treading on thin ice @ ITP for some time now for reasons that cannot be discussed here. He may, then, be on his way out of here.

He's not going to 7days though. For one thing, there is no vacancy, for another, he's held in very low esteem by the powers that be there, as he is most everywhere else, to be fair!

Not a chance.

Anonymous said...

guys take it easy on the fat bloke, he'd had enough so there's no need for all this drama

Anonymous said...

it is amazing to read what cannot be talked about on this blog, by anonymous posters!

cannot discuss 7days. cannot discuss AB. cannot discuss the real facts about NS.

sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 17.25.

He's reaping what he has sown.

And you appear to be somewhat outnumbered - what does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

Come on anon 1653: spill the beans

Anonymous said...

anon @ 1518 - tell all now!

ITP staffer said...

OK, re: Bhoyrul. About sort of Xmas time there was talk that he was going to get the sack from ITP for matters within the office which were related not to his professional performance but to how he was, er, 'interacting' with certain female members of staff.

Clearly, he didn't get the bullet but I hear that his card is marked. That's in addition to the fraud conviction of course.

Notwithstanding, there's no way he could end up at 7days as there is no vacancy there, Associated would never hire him and, finally, a couple of the 'Kingmakers' at 7days would rather re-hire Sawyer than give Bhoyrul a job.

Anonymous said...

that sort of "interacting" with female members of staff had always been encouraged at ITP. or have things moved on in recent years with the influx of female mags?

iTP staffer said...

Unilateral 'interaction' is not encouraged anywhere.

Anonymous said...

In defence of Bhoyril, he may go after everything that moves, but he is single, and he is entertaining company.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that the women (that's plural) at ITP who formally complained that they were being sexually harassed by Bhoyrul would agree with your assessment.

Nor would they really be concerned whether or not he was/is single. Not exactly relevant, is it?

Certain types of behaviour are indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Sawyer is, of course, not as bad as people here are making out.

Not a good people manager. But how many journalists are?

Associated hack said...

No, he's much, much worse than people are making out. The track record speaks for itself.

Whether journalists make good people managers or not isn't relevant in Sawyer's case as his mum would struggle to make a case for him actually being a journalist.

From what I witnessed in London, and what I have heard about the Sawyer experience at GN and 7d, he's been something of an impostor.

Anonymous said...

I hear MEED is hiring. Everyone appears to have left the magazine of their own accord.

Anonymous said...

Bhoyrul on the way out? Let's hope.

Never have I met such unsavoury, self-important, criminal, drunken, horrendously ugly chancer.

Seems like he would shag anything that moved, though cannot understand his appeal - that face and bandy gait - yeuch.

Hopefully he'll just shuffle off into some corner with a vodka bottle and be quiet from now on.

ITP-er said...

The point you're missing is that Booyrule kept his mouth shut about what really happened in the City Slickers thing. One of his bosses at the Mirror - who he took the rap for - is now very senior at Associated, who own 7Days. He's about to get his reward for not blabbing...

Anonymous said...

I'm an overbearing, chauvinistic, worthless chancer with zilch journalistic talent but a great line in bullshit. I'm fat and lazy but brilliant at sucking up to the right people while mercilessly crapping on everyone else around me. Does anyone think there could be an opening for me in Dubai because it sure sounds like my kinda town.

laughing boy said...

anon @ 23.11 - hell yeah, send your CV to ..................

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 23.11 - Come on mate, you've already had two cracks at it...

Anonymous said...

so what is this fantastic reward? the chance to edit 7Dyas????

interested said...

Actually, does anyone know what is happening to the vacancy? Are they interviewing at the moment?

Anonymous said...

No interviews.

Anonymous said...

I hear Neil Sawyer is looking for work and man, is he talented and respected! He should apply pronto.

anon_hack said...

Ya gotta know the right people to get in and applications are probably more than closed by now. There was only a chink of foot-in-the-door space late last week for a last minute shadowy Dark Horse entry.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 02.29 - no interviews? why not? are they promoting from within?

Anonymous said...

Anyone heard anything about a certain South African former GN editor spotted back in town for a top role at one of the other dailies..?

Rob

Anonymous said...

You cannot be seriously siuggesting that AB is going to be given the helm at 7Days.

No one in their right mind would allow him anywhere near a newspaper again.

And certainly not one that has had a a few editorial lapses in the past.

Anonymous said...

What about Bikram Vohra? Heard he's on his way out from the ever so eloquent Bahrain Tribune and on his way back to a Dubai daily. Any goss?

Anonymous said...

I've met Neil Swayer.

Seemed like a decent fella to me.

Didn't like Dubai very much but struck me as a lot more competent than a lot of the other journalists shooting their mouths off at press cons and in bars around the city.

Don't know this Bhoyrul character. A single man (?) who has slept with more than one woman - what is the deal? A lecherous sort - not a rarity in Dubai I am afraid.

I think people should get on with their jobs and stop the personal attacks.

Neil - if you are reading this keep your skin thick.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 21:39:

I second that. Good Luck Neil.

sawyer=prick said...

I third that.

Good Luck Neil!

..and can I have that 'to go' with fries and a shake? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Neil @ 21.39

I wish I was more like you.

We are all worthless scum.

With jobs.

ITP rocks the house said...

"I've met Neil Swayer.

Seemed like a decent fella to me.

Didn't like Dubai very much but struck me as a lot more competent than a lot of the other journalists shooting their mouths off at press cons and in bars around the city."

Post of the week.

Anonymous said...

can we please get back to talking about far more interesting things, such as the majesty of EC's moustache?

Anonymous said...

Just ask the mod to set up an ECM chapter.

This blog is only for praising the Godlike genius that is Neil Sawyer.

Anonymous said...

And I thought that the title of this thread was "What next for 7DAYS?"

It does not seem to have come up with many answers to the what next part of the question.

Anonymous said...

My god...
This blog is the perfect example of Dubai working force...
You make me think of a bunch of old ladies gossiping outside of church...

I got the chance to work with Neil and he is a very sweet human being. More than I can say about some of you who seem to be so hateful.

Good Luck Neil!!!

And yes, good observation: "What next for 7DAYS?"

Anonymous said...

Isn't a certain somebody remaining close to the top of 7Days known for his violent temper?
If memory serves, there was an incident in The Agency at the Madinat involving fingers, a throat and an ITP staffer...

Anonymous said...

I worked with Neil briefly and thought he was a decent sort trying to instil some journalistic standards into a place where most so-called journalists think they're a Pulitzer prize winner. Truth is they wouldn't last five minutes on a national in the UK. I don't know why he went down so badly at 7Days as I don't work there but sometimes people just don't fit - that's life, but no reason to crucify the bloke. I wish him luck and hope his career hasn't been ruined by this incessant character assassination.

Anonymous said...

Apparently eudore's still got an enormous moustache

Anonymous said...

I worked with Sawyer and he couldn't 'instil journalistic standards' on a bunch of primary school children such is his ineptitude and total lack of journalism skills.

He was sacked from Gulf News and 7DAYS for INCOMPETENCE. Is there any more to be said? Apart from: good luck, Neil, but find something else to do, eh?

He's NOT a journalist, end of. Just an opportunistic imposter who got found out. Fun while it lasted, no doubt, but the game is up.

Anonymous said...

Now just hold on one cotton pickin minute you lot who are trying to halt all the character assassination and scurrilous goss that gets plastered all over this site. It's only reason I visit.

And I'll defend any contributor's right to free speech to the hilt or at least until such time that my name goes up in lights on DMO followed by a scramble of contributors saying "Good riddance to that lazy, treacherous, good for nothing, backstabbing, talentless, drunken, groping, ugly, brown-nosed son of a bitch. He got what was coming to him."

Anonymous said...

Whats happening to Bikram Vohra? He cant keep his foot in one publication for long.

Anonymous said...

Seems like sacking journos who have anything like a spine is common sport in Dubai. Seems to suggest that media is not a worthy profession to work in out here.

And how does one STAY in a media job. Probably by keeping one's head down and never daring to do anything different.

Editor roles in this cesspit should come with health warnings - Abandon all hope ye who enter, you will be devoured by your own staff. First in the role, then on here.

Scottish Daily Mail said...

Anon @ 1.21

You're just not getting it. Sawyer is/was not a journalist. He was/is a spineless cretin. His sacking had nothing to do with 'daring to be different', it was because he was so utterly shite at his job.

There's not much else to be said on the matter. Neil's been on here defending himself anonymously but the mood is 95% hostile and that tells its own story.

I worked with him in Glasgow (where I still work, on a national paper) and have to agree with the majority sentiment.

Anonymous said...

The answer to the question atop the blog: what next for 7days?

Continue to publish paper and make money.

Anonymous said...

Cracking headline this morning: Cat-astrophe!

Geeting as cutting edge as ET - with local cats story.

Can we expect more of this whilst they operate without an editor?

tech head said...

Here's a funny thing - all those various posts in defence of Neil Sawyer seem to have all come from the same computer. How could it be?

7DAYS insider said...

Anon @ 10.17. Superb 7DAYS story. ET would report that as 'In Dubai, our 14-star, gold-plated cats are never fed anything other than foie gras and washed daily in asses' milk'.

You're clearly another 'media' prat who has no idea of the nature of the 7DAYS product. Are you, in fact, Neil Sawyer?

Anonymous said...

i remember the incident concerning the fingers in the eyes and smack to the head in the agency. If my memory serves it was indeed the newly appointed head of 7days and that chubby little dwarf who worked on campaign. Now the newly appointed head may well be known for having a bit of a temper at times but having met the dwarf in question i would offer to buy the 7days boss a beer for it.Clearly it hasnt bothered associated newsgroup as i hear it is they who were keen to push the old md and editor out to give him the chance to fix their mess.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 15.25

Who is the 7days employee to whom you are referring?

Does anyone know what rock Sawyer is crying his piggy little eyes out under?

Anonymous said...

anon @ 15.38


read the first posting on this blog.
Don't know where NS is..?

Anonymous said...

I like him, he's fun to be around.

Anonymous said...

Don't be mean about the height-challenged. He couldn't help being short...

Anonymous said...

we're not being mean about the vertically challenged. From what i hear from someone who was actually there in the Agency the dwarf was f***ing and blinding in front of SL's wife who asked him politely to stop as any husband would, however lofty was having none of it and ignored the polite warning ( from an ex Royal Marine !!) which was obviously a regetful decision on his part.
I have heard SL is great fun to work with and knows his stuff.

ITPjourno said...

Anyone heard of Sawyer's whereabouts? Has he left the country?

Anonymous said...

He's filling out an application for Brantano Shoe City as I write this...

Anonymous said...

Why has everyone been so quiet today and where did the goodbye message from DMO go??? What is happening?

anon_hack said...

see disclaimer now posted to right

Anonymous said...

Like him or not, considering the relationship of the British Army with parts of the Arab world, it seems somewhat dodgy outing him as an ex-marine on this blog. Anybody could be reading.
As the editors of this blog routinely remove attacks on themselves or postings encouraging hints as to their identity, how about deleting the one that could but SL in danger? And this one obviously...

anon said...

Actually, to my knowledge, no comments have been removed that criticise the DMO authors (but of course, I could be wrong). One post was removed by the DMO creator, who wished to be disassociated with the blog... and I guess the result is the home page disclaimer.

mediamonster said...

I've not removed any criticism. Only things taken off have been a few comments that were big time defamatory and some that were unfair or dangerous, like speculating on people's sexuality.

Seems that the original DMO no longer likes this place which is sad. But it's still going to continue.

Most of the dirt posted here comes from anonymous commenters, so why try to out us? We provide this space, but anyone could do it. Just go to Blogger.com and hit make new blog.

Neil we love you! said...

STOP PRESS... THIS NEWS JUST IN... HOLD THE SPLASH...

For all you 'Sawyer watchers' out there, get a look at this:

http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/friendsreunited.asp?WCI=OtherProfile&member_key=1517227&surname=Sawyer

Neil says that he's editing one of the daily newspapers in Dubai. He's had the sack from two of them already so is he editing Emirates Today or Khaleej Times? Dammit, that was quick, but it just goes to show you can't keep a good man down!

Go Sawyer! Yay!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I've always tried to defend journalistic standards on this blog, but Sawyer's Friends Reunited page clearly says it was last updated on May 8, ie before he was sacked from 7days. It's called checking your facts - it's not exactly rocket science. Anon @ 2.20, shouldn't you be busy inventing, sorry, researching, Emirates Today's latest earth-shattering exclusive?

Anonymous said...

In defence of our anonymous friend (hello Ronnie!) good journalistic practice would have seen him update it on May 11, surely?

And Sawyer calling himself an Editor, or even a journalist? That's a story in itself.

So many angles here...

Anonymous said...

"Oh dear. I've always tried to defend journalistic standards on this blog, but Sawyer's Friends Reunited page clearly says it was last updated on May 8, ie before he was sacked from 7days. It's called checking your facts - it's not exactly rocket science. Anon @ 2.20, shouldn't you be busy inventing, sorry, researching, Emirates Today's latest earth-shattering exclusive?"

I don't think it is actually possible for you to miss the point of the Friends Reunited post by a wider margin than you have.

I think the kids would write:

'WHOOSH!"

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being pedantic, the original post clearly interprets the Friends Reunited message as Sawyer claiming he is now editing a third newspaper:

"He's had the sack from two of them already so is he editing Emirates Today or Khaleej Times? Dammit, that was quick, but it just goes to show you can't keep a good man down!"

If you're trying to suggest the post was making fun of Neil claiming he's a journalist at all, it doesn't. If you're trying to suggest the post says Sawyer is a poor journalist because on being sacked the first thing he did was not update his Friends Reunited entry, it doesn't. If that was the author's intention then he/she really ought to be able to string together a more coherent posting, given that we are allegedly all journalists here.

ITPjourno said...

You've totally misread the mood of the original post.

The point was, everyone knows he's sacked and the post was (I think) designed to highlight the fact that he still seems to think he's an editor.

I think it does this quite well, but we'll agree to differ.

I guess the only reason this sort of thing gets posted is because it appears Sawyer has gone into some sort of witness protection programme and people are trying to goad him out into the open, so they can mock him as openly as 7DAYS staff did to his face in 'the last days of Rome'.

If you think your admittedly pedantic, humourless and somewhat perpexed response to the Friends Reunited post made you look erudite... It didnt.

Anonymous said...

OK OK, enough indecision on the subject of Neil Sawyer. This blog has only just come to my attention but I would like to stake my claim to the definitive character assasination. I worked with him on a Fleet Street title for two years, and yeah, I too had those moments of weakness where I thought, "Oh, perhaps he isn't so bad after all - perhaps he is just a pathetic, lonely little man who takes out his insecurities on those he considers his subordinates. He's quite sweet really."
Wrong. Over the years I repeatedly saw evidence of him being a deeply, deeply unpleasant, bullying, nasty specimen. Not sweet, not endearingly incompetent, just a low-quality human being who deserves every last sacking that comes his way.

Anonymous said...

Ouch.

Sawyer-watch has spotted our reluctant hero back in the UK. One assumes he's not there on holiday!

Anonymous said...

I have worked with Neil and personally found him easy to get on with - and he is undoubtedly a very experienced journalist. Realise that not everybody felt the same, but having read these posts I can't believe you people are ganging up to bully him in an effort to ruin his life. Whatever he did or didn't do, I think you are all going a bit Lord of the Flies. Maybe its the heat out there? Leave him alone.

Anonymous said...

No-one is trying to ruin his life. The majority here is merely expressing its disgust for that horrible, horrible creature.

He doesn't have to read this and he probably doesn't. As he is back in the UK at present, I doubt it matters much in the grand scheme of things what is said here.

Experienced he may be, but he's also a talentless bully with the personal skills of a cockroach. He's not likely to be adding to his journalism experience (God alone knows how he was not found out after a week) though, after two quickfire, high-profile sackings and the attendant fallout.

Best advice for Sawyer: forget journalism, have a good, long look at yourself, and move on. Do not, for example, email companies in Dubai, desperately pitching for work claiming to have been 'made redundant' by 7days. Know what I mean, Neil?

Anonymous said...

Think you will find he is working as a taxing position as Comms consultant in a Government Department.

Anonymous said...

Thannk God it's somewhere where he can hang his head in shame quietly and unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

This still open? Interesting what you say about NS. Yes, he is where you say he is nowadays. And he is being exactly as you describe.

Anonymous said...

'being exactly as you describe'? Please explain!

Anonymous said...

Well this is interesting, I didn't realise the 'man' himself had his own voodoo blog! Hasn't been updated for a while I see, but I obviously will have worked with some of the newer posters.

The mans a fool, it looks like he was as despised at the previous places he worked as he is where he is now. I've yet to find anyone in the organisation who thinks he alright and the toadying to senior managers...