Thursday, 26 February 2009

Inspirational leadership

From a comment:

Could I suggest urgent new thread based on the following letter sent to all AMG staff today - maybe DMO readers can comment on the "unique story of this organisation"?


Dear All,

As you are all aware we are all witnessing the dawn of a Change. Markets are shifting and organizations are being called upon to reassess their businesses and drive their activity towards consumer needs.

As a group, we are not immune to the depth and severity of this situation that has been reflected in our daily lives as well as our business in their different shapes and forms. The current Global economic tides have forced us into a careful recalculation of our business decisions.

To address the challenges we face, now more than ever, we need to restructure our business and transform AMG into a results driven organisation, which values quality over quantity and is focused on accelerating its rate of growth. As a result, very difficult decisions, including Staffing, will have to be made today.

We want to remember the unique story of this organisation and how we have shown, within a short time, our innovative roots and strong vision.

To fully realize our potential, we will all need to make adjustments and compromises. I am confident that if we work together, as one team, we will come out of this difficult time in our history even stronger and be well placed to multiply our growth moving forward.

Thanks and regards,

Mohamed Almulla

Group Executive Director


Go for your lives.......

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this letter will be criticised, but it's one letter more than the 'management' at ITP have managed to cobble together.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet my bottom dirham he didnt write it

Sir freelancealot....... said...

Clearly you do not know what directors do? They don’t sit around writing letters all day! They employ morons like you to do it. PRAT!

Anonymous said...

I would also bet my bottom dollar, but ITP haven't paid my final salary yet the fuckos.

Anonymous said...

Panic ensued. Management have been having problem paying basic stuff like salaries and bills to suppliers. 200 people sacked at AMG today. And 100 more next week. Many good brains are gone. New young Emiraty bosses seen in their offices with big smiles on their face, thinking they can actually run a company without expats. People seen crying across hallways and some fainted while being told the news.

from the finances of that company, the whole operation might shut down in a month or two. The problem is they don't know what they don't know.

Anonymous said...

Sirfreelancealot...
Anyone who writes PRAT! in caps with an exclamation mark has to be in the running for cunt of the year.

Anonymous said...

Business 24-7 going to be put out of its misery and shut down next week. Good track record for AMG ... it failed in both incarnations, first as Emirates Today, then Business 24-7.

Anonymous said...

it's no longer Abdullatif Al Sayegh speaking. this is a new guy brought in from Tecom. is it over for Abdullatif and his empire?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Ben Whyte and Zahra were both finished as well from Dubai 92.

That is a shame Ben along with Nathalie was the only presenter left who had anything good to offer the station certainly the strongest member in the team and Zahra was building a good following with a unique style and finding her way in the radio world.

Sarah I luuuuuurve the sound of my own voice K will continue to do drive alone, Steve Pulley what are u playing at man, well I guess it will push more listeners to Virgin.

I wish them both the best of luck as a former colleague.

Won’t take long to figure out who I am, so I’ll leave my initial too and hide.

CF

P.S. I have nothing to lose anymore in radio in this city I already lost my job

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for helping us know that the paper will be shut down too.
Now since you still have a job, go to Irish Village and have another drink when we pack to leave.
and till you are next on the list someday though your paper or magazine was so much more brilliant and the last frontier in journalism and could not do without you so far.
But you would not know that till it happens to you - so good luck till then.
It is disgusting how some of you are having fun running down other organisations during such a grim time while others have to face loan payments, kids and life.
and those sitting in UK or elsewhere commenting on the Dubai Media scene, pls clean up your house first.
Before commenting on how we soaked up the sun all these years.

Anonymous said...

(funny PR press release on Zawya. "Consolidation will have a limited effect on staffing". 300 people out of 1900 is limited? or do they mean "limited" minded people have been laid off?)

Dubai, February 26, 2009: In response to the current global economic downturn and its impact on the media industry in the region, Arab Media Group has moved to implement a restructuring programme across its businesses, aimed at increasing the organisation's operational efficiency through the consolidation of some of its support services. The move will have a limited impact on staffing. The consolidation however, will not have any impact on the Arab Media Group's service offerings either at the group or the entities' level.

-Ends-
For more information please contact:
Tarek Sakik
Jiwin Public relation
050 1014489
Tarek.sakik@jiwin.ae

Anonymous said...

Sad to see AMG go out of business & I really feel sorry AMG staff.

like they has shut down one of its radio stations, Pulse 95.3 FM,hindi station and laid off its staff.

Now you see the official line is indeed true, it is a problem of revenue per impact of there frequency:)

SO Abdullatif Al Sayegh’s journey ends??? who hired on AMG very poorly served and corrupt staff n advisors and didn’t stop the loyal talented staff on leaving.

Anonymous said...

12:36 - do you write for Arabian Business?

Anonymous said...

they fired the wrong people. I hear Vikas Jain is still around and picked up the staff layoffs himself. He moved from Abdullatif minion to Al Mulla minion. Him and Abdullatif built this monster into what it is. Mr. V's resume has his hands on the deals that sank the ship (the $30M Viacom deal, link.net internet fiasco)

they fired hard working people. while a lot of the crooks and inept management are still around.

oh well. this company story just keeps getting worse.

Anonymous said...

This is very true but what does the letter actually say, not much by the looks of it and I'm sure the majority of their staff will be left wondering if they have a job or not. This letter shouldn't have been sent out as it’s extremely unclear what they are planning on doing and does more harm than good.

Anonymous said...

in the letter they say they're making it "quality over quantity". i wonder if that means emiraties (high quality) stay and expats (low quality) leave. very arrogant. welcome to dubai.

Anonymous said...

The move will have a limited impact on staffing. The consolidation however, will not have any impact on the Arab Media Group's service offerings either at the group or the entities' level.

-Ends-
For more information please contact:
Tarek Sakik
Jiwin Public relation
050 1014489
Tarek.sakik@jiwin.ae



Malcolm....er, Malcolm? MALCOLM????!!!!

Anonymous said...

not sure AMG ever knew what quality was?

Anonymous said...

Good point re the Jwin press release. Malcolm the account director who has been boasting about how great Jwin are has been humiliated. Jwin have been shown to be the pathetic poodles they are. Malcolm - I know of six journalists who have rang Tarek today and he has refused to answer. It was true all along - Jwin are crap. If you have dignity you should resign, given the pompous postings you made on DMO.

Anonymous said...

I've been following a few of the entries on this blog and the comments on the entries.

I thank DMO for laboring to maintain a blog where people can share opinions even anonymously.

I think it's good to pull back and view recent developments in UAE media in context.

The UAE as a country is maybe 40 years old?

In Europe where the printing press was invented by Gutenberg in the 1400s, you still get stuff like the controversial Prophet cartoons that one would think a mature media market would be a lot more intelligent about.

Before year 2000, how many publications, TV stations, radio stations, etc. were in the UAE? The explosion in the number of titles, channels, etc. is what employed and maybe still employ many of those who comment on this blog.

What is happening at City7, AMG, Jiwin, ITP, etc. are all part of an industry development lifecycle of consolidation which tend to follow a period of rapid growth.

This idea of industry correction is not new either. Check out creative destruction from the writings of Nietzsche and Schumpeter.

This period of painful change is necessary to bring about the next phase of growth.

The UAE and all its industries are trying to find its place in the global economy. I am impressed by what it has achieved in just 3-4 decades.

What is happening now has many similarities to sport. Those who can't play the game just jeer and complain. Those who can play shut up and work for the win.

Anonymous said...

Malcolm dear, shouldn't it be Jiwin Public Relations (note the 's' at the end)?

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad time and horrible to see ex-colleagues and friends from a couple of radio stations lose their jobs this week. I wish them all well and hope they get sorted as soon as. As regards AMG, there are people who seem to be untouchable and it would appear that the hard workers who actually care are the ones who are sacked first. You wonder... if you have talent and intelligence and a work ethic then obviously you are not the right type to work there. Cue the 'yes' men and the idiots and see how it falls further. A great, great shame for something that had so much potential.

Anonymous said...

I left AMG on my own terms, as soon as I could do so without the company fucking me over. Best career move I ever made. The worst, of course, was ever coming to work for them in the first place. An utterly grim and unpleasant company with zero understanding or respect for editorial independence, pathetic management and a truly incomprehensible belief that everything it did was brilliant. Good fucking riddance if it goes - but my heart goes out to the poor bastards who stayed and are now about to be hung out to dry.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tally up the number of people who have been made redundant?

ITP admitted 60 last week - but there have been people sacked before and after.

AMG - 300
Motivate?
ENG?
Media Factory?
Gulf News?

And have people been made redundant, with three months salary as per I think UAE labour law, or just told to go?

Anonymous said...

It's so funny. People who have worked in established media markets have dealt with layoffs for decades. It's sort of a tradition in media.
Finally, Dubai has to tighten the belt a bit, and the Chicken Littles come from out of the woodwork to tell us when and where the sky will fall.
This is how it works, people. Survival of the fittest, and all that. If your product doesn't make money, or if it could make more money in a different way, why would an employer keep you around? Because they feel sorry for you? Hah. Welcome to the 20th century. Perhaps in a few years you'll join the rest of the world in this era, and hear that there is a recession going on. Redundancies happen. It sucks. But life will go on.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine people like ITP will be looking for ANY excuse to sack people right now.

The best solution for people is to get out NOW. If the landlord won't give you the rent back take stuff from the flat.

If you're planning your exit from a company take as much stuff as you can with you that can't be tied to you.

As for anon @ 0039's pathetic comments regarding sports - you are clearly either an utter cunt or a manager at ITP. Not much difference, I know.

Anonymous said...

sir freelancealot is probably Sir freelancealittle really.

Anonymous said...

Radio 2 needs the biggest shake up.Starting with Steve Johnston,this has to be the worst broadcasting in Dubai, if anyone loves the sound of their own voice he is your man its painful to listen to him stumble over his words,of which there are too many.If there needs to be job cuts get rid of the shit first.

Anonymous said...

AMG is a pack of cards just waiting to collapse. Very poor over-paid staff, awful management, terrible products - Emirates Business still insists the UAE is not suffering from the world recession and all is well in Dubai - its demise will be welcomed.
A propoganda machine that has failed spectacularly.

Anonymous said...

I love Emirates Business. Its 'fiddling whilst Rome burns' editorial policy, laugh out loud interviews with senior 'Gulf businessmen' and Hans Christian Andersen headlines never fail to raise a smile en route to the office.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I'm new to this blog - who is Andy Petch, what does he do at ENG and is he really such a cunt? I thought they all worked at ITP.

Anonymous said...

As a former Middle East media guy, now in Australia, it's sad to hear about AMG. They had some good guys over there. Aren't we all good guys anyway?

Anonymous said...

28 feb 13:58 - 3 months salary according to the UAE labour law?? 30 days notice according to most. You're even lucky if you get that plus flights and gratuities owed. The law does not protect expats. In fact, recent articles have quoted the gov warning expats not to take their previous employers to court unneccesarily or face fines or even jail! In a time of recession, Dubai is not the place to live. Time for a country with employee rights.

indiancurry said...

We need to rework out the alphabets. D is for Depression in Dubai, not Dream on Dubai. Get real guys, it's time for a clarion call to look at the ground reality.

Truth hurts when it's closer home & Dubai has been a dream home for a while. It always hurts hardest when the dream starts to turn into a nightmare.

And what do the benevolent men in power do these days? Media blackouts, gagging orders on expats, threats, where will this end? As the old saying by the Phantom, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall"

Anonymous said...

i came in from the western world last year. these dubai companies are very ugly and corrupt from the inside.

top executives fraudulant, proof frequently presented to CXOs and no action done. Very obvious transactions: embezzlement of company money to private accounts, good old theft, conflicts of interest, partner companies on the side... you name it.

enough shit that, in the west, would have put the whole executive team in jail in a week.

but here they call it "taking care of business"

Anonymous said...

What? No sniping about the Ahlan Hot 100 this year? Everyone too depressed and/or worried about the security of their jobs?

anon_mediator said...

anon @16.45
we haven't seen a copy of the Ahlan Top 100, and it hasn't been uploaded on to the website. Fear not, if there is anyone left at ITP to upload it, we will resume normal service shortly after.

Anonymous said...

Damn you lot are lazy...
http://www.ahlanlive.com/hot100/

Anonymous said...

Hi Annonymous who has come in from the Western world.
Perhaps you did not hear of Madoff.
Or do you think that is the name of a Californian wine?

Anonymous said...

haha, the party to end all parties. i wonder how many wages that cost?was a good party to be honest, but with the business division staff being cut the previous day - and with it being common knowledge that the weekly staff were to be chopped the day after the party - i'd suggest everyone was drinking and being merry on ITP's tab rather than having a genuinely great time.

anon_hack said...

Anonymous comment that we had to edit very slightly:

-------------------------
I am a former AMG person and I know the problem there is that Abdullatif did not properly understand where revenues were going to come from - especially with TV.

Here, there are only FMCGs, govt, cars and telcos advertising on TV. So MTV was never, ever going to work as a stand-alone business.

The radio held it all together (at 250Dhs per spot virtually any UAE business could advertise and reach a huge audience stuck in traffic).

Al Bayan was a great turnaround job because it had heritage and just needed pruning (they had 7 librarians). But the free ET and B24/7 were just not going to cut it while GN had all the property guys tied into exclusive deals with strict penalties for using other print media.

Actually, Abdullatif had given too much power to people who talked big but never had a vision and couldn't deliver on their promises. Gavin Dickinson being the main culprit....ET was pretty much his idea.

[name removed] whatsizzface proved to be just an ambitious wheeler dealer lining his own pockets rather than benefitting the business (with short term deals that really hurt the equity of the brands we were trying to build).

The big issue was internal - horrendously toxic politics. Everyone hated and distrusted eachother. The Arabic sales guys hated the English journos who hated the Arabic journos who hated the Indian back office staff who hated etc etc etc.

It was totally irreparable. I left in a hurry and feel sad that it went that way...it could have worked out well if they were not quite so ambitious and in a hurry. But, Abdullatif did give me a go, which I appreciated. He built something that became uncontrollable and impossible to turn profitable.

Anonymous said...

wow! 23:06 is fairly accurate. he has missed out some key factors though. without naming names, GD was failed by the senior editor he hired. a strong editor - facing the ill-knowledged and ergo ballsy crew of 7Days - would know that you would have to report real news to prosper. the editor (yes, i worked under him) cut our stories to get an easy life, i felt. i was there from day 1. he hired me. good wages, good job opp and i don't regret a thing in terms of day-to-day work and wage packet, but i did look to him to battle for my scoops and he didn't. we had a talented team, but he was what some would describe as weak. we looked for inspiration and were downtrodden upon. he left, and made out that he left because he was put upon. i know, from attending the senior editor meetings, that when it came to an argument he keeled over. that was a real shame. he did well in putting us together, but at the end of the day he failed all of us in journalistic terms, as staff and as a business model - when it came to unleashing us and letting us beat our rivals. in my job interview, he told me we would be taking on the rest (KT, GT, 7D) on the strength of our content. when it came to confrontation, he didn't support us. A real shame and it has changed, in my opinion, the course of UAE newspaper history to date.
I wouldn't lay the blame on GD. He's a nice guy. But he's a commercial guy. Of course he always demanding fluff from us. but if we'd been allowed to run certain stories (did you hear the one about the rogue gunman in Sharjah, for example?!?!) then I am convinced we would have become the most-read, most talked about, most profitable newspaper in UAE history. and we/they wouldn't be about to fold now - 7D would!

Anonymous said...

To: 02 March, 2009 20:44

yes i have heard of Madoff. let me explain to you the difference between west corporate environment and middle east - having lived through both.

In the West 10% of the people are corrupt (the top wealthy 10%). In the middle east 90% of the people are corrupt.

anon_mediator said...

anon @ 20.42 - to the twat that suggested we were lazy, when I posted it wasn't online, it wasn't. And yes, we checked that link as well.

Anonymous said...

So in the West 10% of the people are corrupt and in the Middle East 90% of the people are corrupt?

Little wonder journalism in the UAE is where it is today. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Head of AMG talking about the new media law to AP today - and he wonders why his papers are shit and fail...
""It's not to stop bad news," said Abdullatif al-Sayegh, who heads the Arab Media Group, a Dubai-based media conglomerate. It is to prevent journalists "digging for bad news," he said.

Anonymous said...

Oh Hullo Mr 10 percent corrupt.
Do you know that the havoc that Madoff and Lehman Bros and Freddie Mac and all the rest of the 10 percent corrupt in the West finished off the rest of the 90 percent innocent lives.
Here it is the other way around - only 10 percent got affected.
lol.
and why did you come here? Not for the sunshine I bet.
Let us face it. When Dubai was good, everyone lived life to the fullest, watched movies and did barbecues and partied like there was no tomorrow.
Now when we are hit like everyone else, people talk of corporate governance and bubble burst.
But hey, read Wall Street Journal or plain Yahoo news to get a real insight into what is happening in the Wild West too.
get balanced guys
we came here we made money we blew it
and now we face the nemesis that we wrote about - others lives have become ours

Anonymous said...

This time next year, will this blog even be here? hahahahahaa. Cunts.

Anonymous said...

i'm a Western ex-pat lvg shortly, after having been here for a couple years on a contract.

i never had any illusions about what was going on here. i bought as little as I needed to, banked the rest and led a quiet life.

i've met some quality people here and it breaks my heart to abandon them to whoever will follow me.

i think the inevitable result of the corruption, greed, predjudice and unfair treatment of workers in the wake of what has happened here will result in legendary cautionary tales that will make future ex-pat recruitment very, very difficult. And without ex-pats, Dubai media just doesn't exist in any meaningful way.

I'd concur with the poster who advised getting out now. Even if you are stll employed, you need to have a go bag and be ready to be out of town within 48 hours. Don't believe Dubai has hit bottom. I'd predict the media sector to be half the size it is today within six months.

Houseguests and fish... and we're all just teaboys to the guys who really run the show here. They'll be remarkably generous with their own-- with us...not so much.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Can we please start a blog on the new 'programmes' been offered up by City 7 TV? Has anyone seen the new Hydra Executives? Embarassing to say the least. And that Societe show? We have to get a few copies on You Tube so the rest of the world can also have a laugh!

Anonymous said...

Learn Mandarin and HTML

Anonymous said...

Play the game. You can debate the failure of the Dubai media scene, or ride the wave to the next big market. Stick or twist. Move on. I got out two years ago. Game on!

Anonymous said...

Whats it with the journo working for National running over a security guard (in today's Gulf News) ?

Anonymous said...

This is more like it!

Come on, 'fess up which one of you absolute darlings was it?

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10291624.html

Anonymous said...

Can we have a new thread please?

Ras Al Khaimah: An American journalist working for an English daily from Abu Dhabi has run over an Egyptian security guard at the entrance of a university here because the guard denied him access to the campus

Anonymous said...

there seem to be lots of allegations of corruption but very little proof. When shaikh Mohammed turned dubai into a media mecca and introduced freedom of expression i thought he did away with corruption.

Or am i being naive.

Anonymous said...

Corruption is long gone in Dubai, my friend. Like prostituion, dodgy filipino accents that I can't understand for the life of me even after 6 years! and free housing for the locals. Long gone.

Anonymous said...

05 March, 2009 10:53

you're being extremely naive. it's all about corruption here

Anonymous said...

23:57, you missed one factor at AMG, since GD has left. Currently the big boss is VJ, who although an indian he has become the best friend of the locals. Unfortunately he has allowed a culture of mafia executives to prosper inside the company. He protects them, nourishes them, and eliminates their enemies. His strength also comes from Tecom who owns AMG where the director of strategy there is also indian. All hail to the king VJ.

Anonymous said...

10:52, Bit of a cop out, really. Surely you must have some ideas in your head, for you to come up with the idea in the first place? Anyway, you don't need the boss' personal addresses. Here's what you do, I'll start you off:

1) Steal the company's database and sell to others who have no morals, aka ITP.

2) Stay late one evening and put as many "small valuables" as you can fit an into a sports holdall. Laptops, phones, cables, modems, calculators, memory sticks, post-it notes, they're all good.

3) Hijack the company's main computer system by installing trojan key loggers on main computers, thus giving you passwords for the all important servers and email accounts. Start by sending out a mass e-mail about what ENG has done to y'all and list the offences. Set the system to send out 1 email per day, for every day the company doesn't resolve the issues, with increasingly damaging mailers. Then, once you have taken control of a few important email accounts, send a personal mail to all addresses in the address book, which can be anything depending on your mood, e.g. notification of the company's closure to all clients, etc. Anything damaging really.

5) If all this fails, burn down their houses and flee the country, change your name by deed poll, use the proceeds from the stolen office items to get cheap back street plastic surgery in Vietnam, fly back to the UK and live the life of a hermit.

Right, enough of this shit, I've said enough and next time, I bill you by the minute. OK, off to rescue the Thiruvananthapuram Times from the local All-Gay-Left-wing-extremist-protect-cows-from-getting-worshipped-untouchables mob, who have picketed outside the front office.

Anonymous said...

AMG was only concerned about showing people that Local Emiraties were able to run a media company. So they put unexperienced people in very experience needing positions, and try to promote brands such as MTV to locals and families and forgot that MTV viewers (EVEN ARABS!) dont wanna see people wearing THOBES on a music channel!

And the channel was called MTV Arabia, not MTV Saudi!

I give it 4 months, and they shut it down.

Anonymous said...

good overview of media redundancies here http://bit.ly/HSqLP

Anonymous said...

Arab Media Group started off as a radio company and initially it was making huge losses.As an old timer I remember a very sharp guy who was the finance manager who was part of the turn around of ARN.When Dubai Radio was taken over the same guy was part of the strategies and he also was in Al Bayan which turned around in a short time.I used to see him work very hard and smartly .These are the only companies which are making profit now because of the systems set earlier.Seems he had differences with VJ and he left .They have very poor senior managers and lots of inexperience in the company which has resulted in this big mess.The good ones always leave and the company is left with only the useless guys who stick around .

Anonymous said...

i wonder who that finance manager was. Vikas Jain has been the big thorn in this company. He has little experience or acumen. And he makes up for it by acting like the Godfather and engraining and encouraging a culture of politics in the company. the word is he is so connected to Indian executives in Tecom and DubaiHolding that even the top Emiraties at AMG can not shake him. Lucky for AMG to have him, than other companies in the world. At least we know AMG is going nowhere. Better than breaking other companies.

Anonymous said...

I think sms/contest winners from radio are not chosen by computer,it is chosen by RJS.Because most of the time winners are western.

Anonymous said...

93.5fm- alot of buzz about another frequency lost by arn.

Anonymous said...

AMG..With a CEO like AbdullaTit , The only way is the gutter. Never has there been a better manifestation of 'The Blind Leading The Blind'.What a cocky , ignorant fool. After he believed his own lie about dominating the 'radio and press market' I love how he ventured into television with ZERO knowledge, experience or staff. They rearranged the existing ass kissers or anyone with breasts to run a whole television network. I mean to have Maryam El Falasi run ATN..!!! You must be having a laugh! Paris Hilton running the BBC, anyone?
Then there's MTV and Nickelodeon's 'maverick' channel managers : Samer,A 24 year old who doesnt know his ass from his elbow and Leila, the airhead who cant even read a time code.
Destined to fail from day one, VIACOM conned them into a multi million dollar deal that they have been trying to wrangle themselves out of
desperately to no avail. VIACOM doesnt give a toss what they do with it, which is nothing.They have secured the money. The thing is, AMG obliged to keep the channels running at a absolute minimum. ie. turd for tv. No one watches the channels, virtually no marketing for the channels either (bar a few sad attempts at having some poor sods dress up as Dora the Explorer in Wafi ) and they think they are gonna take over the Middle East! I always thought it would go tits up by this summer...Im usually right but..hey, Im sure AbdullaTit's coming up with some diabolical plan to turn the fortunes of the channels like asking all MTV managers to rap only in meetings so they can 'immerse' themselves in the channel ..He's said wierder things, believe me. They should leave AMG to Spongebob and Dora. At least they make the surreal amusing.