Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Big Unrest at The National

According to an anonymous commenter:
Big, big unrest at The National. I know we have a relatively healthy number of staff, and yes we have the backing of some very wealthy men, but the vibe around here isn't very good. Everyone around me is looking over their shoulder. I'm not privy to information at all (I'm a mere reporter) and I can't tell you anything for certain, but there is a feeling of impending doom around here. I suppose we wouldn't be the only ones to face cutbacks. But I'd be surprised if a few senior people, and quite a few others, are still here at the beginning of Feb. Horrible feeling.


Anonymous said...

I just love this shit.... who do you media people think you are? You're just the hired help, the same as the labourers - when you're surplus or don't fit you're dumped. Very funny.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Coast owned or co-owned by ENG? They don't seem to be broadcasting anything but music now. No presenters, no news....apparently no money. Hear staff not been paid and one certain well known "media merchant" facing major legal issues in the local court rooms....hmmm...anyobody know what's really going on there?

Anonymous said...

I know of someone who resigned from ENG for this very reason, sporadic salary transfers so few and far between that it was negatively affecting their finances and almost got them evicted by their landlord - after 6 months of late rent payments! they are now having to consult MOL about the whole situation. How can they be allowed to treat hardworking staff this way?

Anonymous said...

All over bar the shouting.

No coverage = no audience = no revenues.

Anonymous said...

i believe the Gulf news sacked 153 employees from the circulation department.

expect many more cuts in editorial soon.

Anonymous said...

situation at AMG is very shaky. For those following the latest headlines about the new senior person addition at AMG, top guy has been replaced or at least in the process of being moved to the sidelines. And there will probably be lay offs. a lot of lay offs. we shall see in a few weeks or at most months.

Anonymous said...

what did they have 1 circulation staffer per copy then...?
whats happening with that Terry Fuckwit shezane amiiji...the one who ripped off the woodwards and ashley northcote at 7days..? last i heard he was ripping even more people off with carbon trading or some such scam...just his style...did laugh when he was pushe dout of his own business though....

Anonymous said...

Anyone need a job? Meeja Factory is apparently hiring for new launches. Apparently, designers, editorial and sales. Bloody hell, what is the world coming to? Complete loons!

Anonymous said...

Gulf News had 153 people in the circulation department - that almost as many people as we have in editorial - and I work at the biggest employer (publishing) in the UAE. Find that very hard to believe, even if they admittedly do have a big circulation.
I can pass on some info regarding this thread. Nine people (editorial) were made redundant today. I was, however, assured that these were the only cuts (for now) being made from our editorial team. So, if I'm being told the truth, not as bad as my esteemed colleague seems to suggest.

Anonymous said...

I hear Gavin Dickenson is up to his usual tricks at The National.. lording around the place with his scatty ideas, gone in 10 seconds with no follow up, just shouting from the sidelines..

Thank god we got shot of him at ITP, even AMG sacked him in the end, but I would have thought ADMG would have done their research first before hiring him.

But then again he did say he launched Time Out and he did say he launched AMG, on his own of course...

But as usual he'll shaft everyone else to save himself...

Anonymous said...

Check out Piers Morgan's new Dubai documentary on YouTube -- Alex McNab comes across fairly well. Neil Petch's dyed locks...not so much.

Anonymous said...

can someone post a link to the Morgan video? I couldn't find it on You Tube and on AOL Video it says it has been removed.

Anonymous said...

It was in 7 different pieces when I saw it; links here:

Enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCn8qjVVw_s

2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a51gVHljfoM

3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW8FKWdA6dQ

4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bKaj5QKIRE

5 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE8VF72MExA

6 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBkzFXnWNo4

7 - http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=A9B6sq9RXwc

Anonymous said...


Are you effing mental?

Or just completely and pathologically incapable of any hint of self-awareness?

ITP is stuffed full of cunts shafting each other to get ahead.

You cunt.

Anonymous said...

Here is the Piers Morgan video in 7 parts,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCn8qjVVw_s
it's priceless. I love the part when Neil Pest appears showing off all his material possessions at a time when he's not paying his staff. LoL

nzm said...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 3 (with Mohammed Ali Al Abaar from Emaar) appears to be missing as what's labelled as Part 3 on the YouTube site is actually Part 5.

nzm said...

Found Part 3:

Anonymous said...

Very crass of Petch. Can't even pay the staff at ENG and goes on the telly flaunting his wealth.

But yes, the earlier poster is right. TMF are launching a new mall magazine and another business title. But they have closed 4-4-2 and the F1 mag and laid off senior staff from their car mag.

And despite what staff were told at the yearly awards night, there have been people laid off at ITP. And staff are expecting more people to lose their jobs soon. ITP increased profits by 40% last year and have cash reserves so they should be fine - certainly they are in the strongest position of any publisher out there.

And the licence at Motivate was Men's Health. But it's been shelved for six months due to lack of ad sales. Editor apparently sent back to the UK.

I used to work in Dubai but back in UK too. Wish I'd stayed in Dubai really, despite the lay offs.

Anonymous said...

The F1 Mag at TMF is not closing, and the footie mag is just shelved pending a re-launch later in the year apparently.

I just received a hed-hunt e-mail from them; they are looking for 25 staff to start now.

Good times!

Anonymous said...

Now now Gavin (@21.11)!

Calm down, calm down. The previous poster clearly didn't know you were reading. And I'm sure he's really sorry.

I hear Zimbabwe is in need of good publishing staff of your calibre!

Anonymous said...

Please post a new thread - this one is hanging itself! What about lay-offs, new hires and new launches!

Eliot - Editor, AdNation said...

Some unfortunate reporting at Emirates Businesss 24/7 today - seems a reporter took a spoof website a bit too seriously...

More here.

anon_mediator said...

thanks for the shout out, Eliot - sometimes we know we're right!

anonymous said...

Even better than that is the interview emirates 24/7 had with the founder of jobsindubai.com just a few weeks ago....

Anonymous said...

How can Emirates Business still be going? It's terrible PR guff and has no ads - a second disasterous paper from AMG

Anonymous said...

I know the guys at Emirates Business are pretty amateur, but 'quoting' Obama as offering a discount on Blackberries? Surely someone should spot that before it goes in the paper.

The sooner they go out of business the better which, if today's almost complete lack of ads is anything to go by, will be sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Front cover of The National this morning.
Am I right in thinking it is a big no no to show the Burj from the front because it highlights the big cross.
Or is that an urban myth?

Anonymous said...

Neil Petch comes across so badly in the documentary.

Anonymous said...

I think its obvious what is happening at the National, perhaps!!!

I wouldn't be surprised if these western expat journos are replaced by mediocre non-western journalists. Watch this space!!!

Anonymous said...

19:34, do you mean Indians? Nice.

Anonymous said...

Was at a meeting with ADMC today. Stopped for a drink and overheard some water cooler chat - they're planning on firing 2150 circulation staff, and 14,500 editorial. I guess they'll survive but it'll be a slightly trimmer workforce. Who next?

Anonymous said...

the company doesn't even employ that many people douchebag

Anonymous said...

Think he was being sarcastic!


Anonymous said...

the wit and wisdom of Dubai media workers never fails to underwhelm me....

Anonymous said...

14,500 editorial? that's almost half the national news desk!

Anonymous said...

I hear The National is the new Gulf News. Gulf News on the other hand will take over from Al Awir Sewage Plant due to its colossal ability to process and distribute raw shit.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say you media people are brilliant.
Working in advertising I thought we held the high ground when it came to anonymous, bitchy backstabbing, putdowns, slander and eabuse, but this blog is brilliant.I'm telling all my advertising mates to come and visit.
With the arse falling out of UAE advertising we all need something to do during the day and a visit here kills minutes.
Love you all. Love your work. Sorry to take up your time with lengthy post. I'll go now and let you all get back to it.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

@ 01 February, 2009 19:34
@ 02 February, 2009 18:24

Western expats are nothing but nincompoops. Most of them are even not half qualified to do the job they are currently doing. That explains why many companies are now getting rid of these freeloaders (Western Expats), who do nothing but while away their time the entire day, while Asian expats and particularly Indians work their asses off to keep their respective companies afloat at much lesser salaries (20% of what Western expats are being paid currently).

Anonymous said...

Following on the big blackberry screw-up at 24/7, anyone know anything about the rumor that they made up the June release date for the iPhone? Apparently the Etisalat guy they attribute the statement to is in deep shit.

Anonymous said...

New thread please. Do we fucking have to ask every fucking time, eh?

It gets well boring in the editorial kitchen here at ITP.

Anonymous said...

16:46 - I think that is a little unfair to the sewage plant. Gulf News doesn't process anything. Garbage in, garbage out.

Still, at least it isn't ITP.

Anonymous said...

How about we do PR for a while.

stop sending me 2009 calendars
stop 'reverting shortly'
stop saying 'do you remember me, we worked together with...' - yes moron, i remember you - I'm not 94 years old!
stop filling every press release with the following words:


who gives a crap if a two bit company has been 'awarded' a contract? if the company is listed maybe but most aren't so why bother - all it does is tell people how small the company actually is.

why do you approach me about clients you clearly know nothing about?

why do you think i would like to go to dinner with your insurance company client - even if it is free!

if i say i'm not interested why do you approach my colleagues trying to get in that way - no means no!

why, if your clients stock price is going down faster than a Somali hooker, aren't you having them talk to the public about how great their order book is? What the hell is your job if not to make the company more viable to investors?!?!?!

i could go on but i also know my co-media member friends will want to shout loud about the utterly ridiculous crap they receive and deal with each day.

PR in the UAE, its not just the media that is full of people who couldn't get a job anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

No, you are right. Dickinson is useless. That is why he was involved with the start of ITP consumer, told Serafin to lump it when he was dicked around & joined loss making Dubai 92 FM (anybody remember DRN?) and was instremental in making 92 the leading commercial radio station in the UAE & launching Dubai Eye 103.8, which 4 yrs ago nobody gave a chance. While he was there, AMG was formed, which today is bigger than most, with a finger in every pie (tv, radio, Pres, Outdoor, Events, Online Recruitment, Direct Mail & CRM etc etc). He was, if you know anything about the media in this town Al Saeghs right hand man. The papers he launched were a struggle....however today the Arabic tabliod is a complete hit & is catching Bayan & Itthad in the IPSOS survey - you are talking about papers with 30 yrs of hertitage taking a pounding from a 3yr old puppy. Emirates Today was never given a fair crack of the whip by it's owner re content & it seems the 24/7 is undergoing the same pressure, to say only positive things.

Fired from AMG? It took him nearly 6 Months to get out once he resigned. Whoever wrote that is a fool & needs to do some homework.

I have known Gavin for years & laugh at some of the silly crap on this site. He will not sit still, things happen when he is around & I know for a fact that a lot of radio, mag & paper staff in Dubai are asking him to include them in his plans.

If you are rubbshing him (and who is innocent) it is my guess that you are sour grapes. He is no fool, and some of the comments on here show you are..

The stuff about Jason is equally laughable. Here is a guy who is at the top at Motivate, good for him. Again, you are rubbshing him & he has the cash & the control.

Rumour is that Dickinson keeps a 35ft yacht in DIMC, he is earning & building while you are bitching.

Work it out. Anybody got his number?

anon_mediator said...

A post from Anon. Sadly we had to delete the 3rd point (but if you have actual proof, then send it!)

1. is it really a compliment to be Al Sayegh's right hand man?

2. is AMG really a success? grab the EB247 weekend edition. See if there's more than a page of ads in it.

Anonymous said...

14:37 - Why don't you just you use 'I'. You may be right. I have no idea having never worked with you, but it's ridiculous to write as someone else. Come on - like anyone is going to be that interested in you to know your complete bloody history Jason. We've all got too much of our own shit to deal with.

You've clearly held some senior positions. You obviously have something if people keep employing you. But if you're going to post about yourself on DMO, have some balls or don't bother. You come across as someone who cares too much about idle gossip.

Don't let the crap on this get to you. It's rubbish. We all know it. It's amusing which is why we all keep reading it, but no intelligent person is going to take anything here as serious character analysis.

Anonymous said...

Can you cunts please stop posting non-ITP crap. If its libellous and damning, please make sure its about ITP. Thanks. Now die you moles.

Anonymous said...

22.50 - I should imagine that the reason 14.37 never acknowledged he was Jason is because he ISN'T Jason. That was a post about Gavin Dickenson, so if he was going to be anyone, he would probably be Gavin.

Numb nuts.

Anonymous said...

Gavin/Jason/whatever - they both seem to write in the third person.

Anonymous said...

Is AMG really a sucess?

OK I work in an ad agency so have worked with this company for a while.


9 Radio Stations, all most all of which lead their respective markets. A radio station in the UAE that is a leader will do Dhs15 - Dhs20 million pa. Do you think they pay a lot in staff & content? Radio is 80% pure profit.

3 Daily papers. Bayan is a Dhs200 million pa a year monster. Youm their new tabliod is kicking the butt's of all Arabic papers & must do at least 1/2 of Bayan. EB 24/7 is dead right now. Who in the financial, business, banking sector is not. 2 Months ago it was running 12 / 15 pgs per day. I don't know if it can survive.

TV. They have MTV & Nickelodion. Both perfectly placed against the young demo's of the region. The biggest ad spend here is TV & they have the youth.

Online. Most of their traditional business's have online 'plays' and as content creators they can max it over time. They don't do it right now as well as they could.

Events; They were Mama Mia, Chicago etc etc. Right now they are more active in the corporate events side, and will be making money. Well were I suppose right now.

CRM. They launched a Direct mail & CRM division called FULCRM. It is chasing JACOBSONS to be the biggest data operator in the region. With all the sms they generate from 2 TV & 9 radio they will probably do it.

Tickets. Rumouor is they own Box Office Middle East.

Recruitment: Career Junction is their online career site. Looks good & works.

Printing: They own & run Masaar. It is the most advance press in the region. In the IMPZ.

Distibution: Tawseel, one of the biggest teams in the region delivering their 3 dailies & other commercial partners publishers.

Ad sales & revenue: they must be doing 1/2 a billion (Dhs).

So, yes on balance it is a huge sucess & is really only 7 yrs old.

Sure you will all slag this off - but see the big pic (English & Arabic) when you work out here. AMG has issues, but it is a big big player for a new company.

Factual, sane comment, without any swearing. must be a 1st.

I HATE ITP... sorry.

Anonymous said...

Going right back to the beginning:

"there is a feeling of impending doom around here. I suppose we wouldn't be the only ones to face cutbacks. But I'd be surprised if a few senior people, and quite a few others, are still here at the beginning of Feb."

We're now into Feb. What happened?

Anonymous said...

They stuck the word "Front" at the end of the title and became a neo-Nazi right-wing hardline voice piece for Al Qaida's No.2

Who gives a fuck?

Anonymous said...

Nothing happened. Nothing on this site is real. I work at the National & it is sailing onwards. It is written by grumpy ITP staffers, who hate their lives & jobs. Who is to blame them. ITP are the worst employer in the region (I know this as fact...get it..?) & they reap what they soe everyday. Mabrook.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it "sow"?

I work at the Early Learning Centre in Ibn Battuta Mall.

Anonymous said...

AMG has succeeded in one thing. spending a lot of money from its parent company (Dubai Holding). But it hasn't proven that it can actually:

A) do good journalism (it's a government mouthpiece)
B) make money (other than Al Bayan which is a no brainer)

MTV and Nickelodeon? anyone who has money can bring them to the middle east. but the challenge is to make them successful. Turn them on and see if you can find any advertising or even intelligent programming. they're a joke.

a monkey can spend money. but it takes real acumen to make money or add real value to the community.

Anonymous said...

All of their radio station make money fool. Virgin is going to eat the biggest english radio station here, which is also AMG - Dubai 92.

Youm their arabic tabloid has covered stories that NO other paper ever has dared to touch. You knwo nothing as you spend all your time reading english in an arab region. You must be an ITP staffer.

Their outdoor company & events company have been profitable for yrs.

MTV & Nick are their 1st steps into TV in a region that is brimming with young people. Smart move.

They are arab run & arab invested, in an arab town & region. Do some homework & realize what you count as good journalisim does not or is not allowed to exist here. We don't have knife crime in the street most days either, or kids of 11 with kids of their own.

Anonymous said...

"All of their radio station make money"

And all your base are belong to us.

MTV and Nickelodeon are money pits, and were licensing deals made at the peak of Dubai craziness. If you read the Viacom annual report (online now) they get mentioned as among the most profitable deals for the parent company. Ten-year contracts at locked-in prices.

(Do the math based on Viacom's global reach compared to regional market return).

Radio and newspapers probably are profitable (although Bayan is nearly thirty years old, and got absorbed back in 2004, so AMG can't really take credit for that). However, they - and outdoor - are under pressure now, and could never be profitable enough to cover the gamble of satelite TV. They aren't enough eyeballs, aren't enough advertisers. When bits of the Empire start being closed, it will be to cover the costs of those TV deals.

When somebody writes the history of Dubai 2000+, they're going to write about these companies - including all those who signed license deals with theme parks - as the Dot.com crashes of the Middle East. People will be awe-struck that so much was spent so fast for so little return.

Anonymous said...

This just in from internal sources. AMG is planning to cut 50% of "costs" across the company. Your friends at AMG may not have a job in a month.

Anonymous said...

16:07 there are lots of crimes in dubai they just do not make it in the print. (esp. at AMG publications) if you have news editor friends, let them take you to the cutting room and show you the newswire, and tell you the rules about what is allowed to be printed and what is not.

Anonymous said...

Almost March. National gets better and better from where I sit & I still do not hear of any staff layoff's. I see they just won a load of International Design awards as well. Good for them, I love the paper.

Anonymous said...

I love the paper too - it's the writing on it that's rubbish.

Anonymous said...

What about not-Hasan (0344)...a sleepless night after firing your best editor? Here's hoping. Burhan Wazir the Saturday ed was brilliant. Hassan was threatened by him because, he's not brilliant or EVEN good. So he fired him. They will blame resources but no newsroom loses someone as good as that. They find him another job but the little boy at the helm has no friends except Laura Kooties - and they are both scared of anyone with talent. Those two alone are to blame for the state of the paper.

Anonymous said...

CONFIRMED. Thai Airways International terminated its contract with The Media Factory for failing to publish the June issue of its in-flight magazine, Sawasdee.

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