Sunday, 7 June 2009

Adieu Newland?

The Independent on Sunday has claimed that Martin Newland is stepping down as editor of The National.

Just a year after the launch of The National in Abu Dhabi, rumours swirl that Martin Newland is to step down. The former Daily Telegraph editor set up the English-language paper, recruiting several ex-Telegraph hacks to join him.

Colin Randall and Sue Ryan were among those lured by generous tax-free salaries, the full details of which were memorably leaked on to the internet. My mole says Newland will continue to work for the paper but not as editor. I'm told his replacement will need to be pro the Emirates government and royal family, its proprietors. Newland did not return my calls.


Bearing in mind the National moles have all gone very quiet, is there any chance we can get this confirmed? Was Newland pushed, did he jump, or was he just unwilling to toe the party line any more?

139 comments:

Desert Orchid said...

He'll be kicked upstairs at ADMC with a brief to turn Abu Dhabi into a media hub for the region, a magnet for the industry, a global player in free speech and cutting edge media production....er, hang on, haven't I heard that before?

Anonymous said...

Hmm - Gavin arrives, Martin leaves. I'd love to say "I told you so", but check the archived polls....

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen anything in the National that isn't pro-Abu Dhabi. Nothing critical, nothing investigative, nothing substantive at all. Why would anyone presume Newland is out because he wouldn't toe the line? The line has been toed since the paper opened.

Anonymous said...

lol, and we also know how it all turns out at the end!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame to see one more publication going downhill.

Anonymous said...

He will be remembered for staffing a Middle Eastern paper with people from Surrey. And for paying them more than the brown people who actually know the place.

angelonthebalcony said...

Eudore Chand to take over one wag quipped.

Anonymous said...

What does this mean for Newland's ex-colleagues and their mates that were hired from publications in Dubai - without much thought to merit?

Does this also mean we will see non-albino faces at The National, finally?

@21:47 Elaborate? Wasn't Gavin there from the start? And does the recent migration of the other UK journalism heavyweight from AMG has anything to do with this?

Anonymous said...

http://business.maktoob.com/20090000004915/National_editor_moved_upstairs_/Article.htm

Yes, this story has been around for some time...

Anonymous said...

btw, would somebody please tell me how the National expects to make profit or even break even, especially when the market is so small and the paper's expenses so high.

Anonymous said...

You lot really do know sod all about anything that goes on at the National.

Anonymous said...

It's official:

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/558096-future-of-the-national-editor-clearer-in-a-few-hours

Anonymous said...

He was never going to stay for long. Why should he. Paper is outstanding, brand is on way to being a complete winner & year in they have an excellent subs offer & now Newland is spun onto bigger things while the american arab Hassan takes the reins. Text book.

Anonymous said...

First they move you sideways....

Anonymous said...

'Man promoted at Newspaper'. Another scoop for DMO. Well done.

You should all pop down to Al Wasl road where, I believe, traffic lights are changing - please start a new post on that.

Anonymous said...

to 07.43,

Having seen what everyone at The National is getting paid, in the spreadsheet that was leaked, I don't remember seeing any sign that non-white people were getting paid less than white people.

What is your source for this claim?

Anonymous said...

Eudore Chand's 'tash already installed in office. Day one splash: exposé on the art of billowing. Day two splash: bushy is best - an expert's guide. ^^

Anonymous said...

To 21:37

Let's see, ex ITP trade mag reporter who almost got the paper shut down because she didn't know the difference between "lower growth" and "falling prices": 25,333

Ex international newswire journalist (Pakistani): 19,021

There's plenty of more in that spreadsheet but you obviously haven't bothered reading it properly.

Anonymous said...

He was never going to stay for long. Why should he. Paper is outstanding, brand is on way to being a complete winner

Yes just don't mention "sheikh" and "torture video" in the same article. (It doesn't go well with all those 'important' articles about Emirati identity, I hear.)

Anonymous said...

@21:37

Go look at the spreadsheets again. It was widely discussed at the time - both the fact that there are hardly any non-Tom/John/Jane types; and the fact that those there were appeared to be paid less. I believe that was the reason that it was posted on wiki -to show discrimination in pay.

YOUR remembering or not has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2005/04/hassan-fattah-is-back.html


The new editor of The National. Is there more dope on him... apart from the fact that he was a reporter in NY Times?

Anonymous said...

This is all ITP's fault

Anonymous said...

22:31, Was Angela really that bad? LOL

Anonymous said...

Good business move, brilliant paper, crap DMO comments.

Anonymous said...

Newland has done a great, great job - and I hope he enjoys his new business role...

I do not work for The National, but I do believe we should recognize a step up - the paper has forced everyone else to raise their game.

(Everyone except Gulf News which seems to be sleeping through it.)

Well done Martin.

Anonymous said...

replacement of editors is always political.

as for the comment about people here not knowing what goes on at the national -

if you know fucking tell us you utter cunt rather than sitting there typing self-important comments

Anonymous said...

the idea that newland is some kind of editorial genius cos of the national is a joke.

talk about massive yawning gaping open goal

remember UAE is a market place where a company as shite as ITP manage to make money

Anonymous said...

Re: 22.07.

Are we back on making personal comments on this blog? Given that everyone knows only one jounalist with a moustache is it necessary to put his name down?

Admins: can we please remove names. Otherwise let's have a free for all, I can name loads of moronisms about a tons of people - pimples, short stature, fat asses, sweaty underarms under baby pink shirts... All these and inefficiency too.

Anonymous said...

From the Guardian: 'Newland is quoted in today's issue of The National as saying: "I've done this for a long time, paid my dues editing, and have always been intrigued by the more business side of things. It's what I'd like to get under my belt and move into before I hit 50." [He is 47]'

Oh dear. Mr Newland makes George Bush sound intelligent.

Anonymous said...

I work for The National and can actually put faces to the names rather than make poor guesses.

There is no wage discrimination based on the colour of the skin. Some people get paid more than they are worth, some less.

Anonymous said...

Could someone from the national please, please tell me where I can pick up a copy of their newspaper in abu dhabi. I have found it in a couple of hotel shops but not in my local mall or any
local shops. ive rung the newspaper but the guy on the switchboard doesnt speak english too well. i read martin newland saying it sold 90000 copies a day. i must be looking in the wrong place! thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

let's be honest, no one is here for the culture. like most of us newland came for the money. full stop. Apart from the old deadbeats who leer at the curvy talent – we know who you are, jimmy ! - everyone at the national is young and having fun. All the talk here about working for change in society blah blah is rubbish. newland is a semi literate bodybuilder who struck lucky when a crook called Conrad Black decided he was a willing stooge. the gangster rulers of abu dhabi paid him millions to create a non newspaper . And that’s it. Its about money, not journalism. so lets cut out all the self justifying analysis.

Anonymous said...

Anybody seen the picture caption on page three of Gulf News today (10/6)?

Filthy fucking bastards have put a graphic image of a dead body found in a lake.

I'm so glad I don't have a subscription otherwise I would have been coughing cornflakes through my nose this morning.

This is why we need a press complaints commission here.

Utter disgrace

Anonymous said...

This Newland comment says it all: "At the moment we have 270 staff who are currently all feeding into the newspaper and the website, and we need them to feed into a lot more."

In other words the Notional is overstaffed and their, ahem, skills underused. I made this comment before about an english language daily with a tiny circulation. Compare this to great provincials like the Birmingham Post or the Liverpool Echo with journos chasing real stories rather than getting a byeline for every piece of wire that pops in.

And how many more times to we have to read that the F1 track is on schedule (wow, really?) or gaze wondrously at the DPS on the craftsmanship involved in the construction of the grand Shk Zayed mosque?

And the elusive search by Western journos for the noble Emirati identity (Prada cattle prods anyone?).

Yet another example of Abu Dhabi buying the Rolls Royce... but forgetting to fill up the tank.

Still, paid the school fees for a couple of terms didn't it Marty?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does anyone else think The National is nothing more than polished turd? Given their resources you'd expect a whole lot better that a moderately good looking local paper that hasn't printed a single controversial word in the many months it's been going. At least Die Sturmer, sorry, Gulf News is amusing in it badness ... National is just dull, dull, dull

Anonymous said...

0.30: Is the staff of the national representative of UAE population?

No? Really? What is the reason?

Everyone hires their ex-colleagues and countrymen but not to this extent. I can name at least two people with a previous record of very racist dealing in their past jobs in the UAE. Are those people in a position to decide who gets in?

Anonymous said...

Come come 0030 some people get paid a lot more than they're worth while others get to die on building sites.

Racism is the bedrock of UAE society - trying to deny it just cos it's slightly less evident at a paper that seeks to present a liberal image to the world is just utter bollocks.

You mug.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the dead body on page three of Gulf News today?

The person who made that decision must be mentally ill.

Anonymous said...

Could someone help me. I cannot find the National on sale anywhere in the city. I found it once in a hotel shop but its not on sale in my local malls or my local Indian shops. I read Martin newland saying its circulation was 90000 a day. it makes no sense. the online edition is good but I like to get a regular paper in the morning.

Anonymous said...

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Police_and_The_Courts/10321196.html

This is a terrible story made worse by the photos, published before the poor girl was identified.

Gulf News is a fucking disgrace.

“Her mental disability was the cause of her drowning, Colonel Al Mansouri said, ruling out any criminal involvement.”

No, falling in the water was the cause of her drowning. Idiot.

GN is a never-ending vortex of bad journalism, made worse by the total absence of a moral compass.

Anonymous said...

17:18 how true
Look at how this issue has been covered by both papers:
http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10321798.html
http://khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2009/June/theuae_June245.xml&section=theuae

Anonymous said...

why is everyone so down on newland? so he sucks up to the sheikh. so he makes sure the paper doesnt upset his masters. so he tells porky pies about the paper. hes making millions. who wouldnt act like that for that sort of money? i know i would!

Anonymous said...

@1908 that's right.

But being a toadying sycophant is not the same as being a groundbreaking editorial genius.

I agree he's more likely the former rather than the latter.

That's probably why he got the job.

Anonymous said...

In response to 11:24, what the bloody hell are you on about? It's a newspaper and it does, like, news, y'know?. That is what journalism is all about, in case you don't know.

I defend the right of GN to run that image, in fact I applaud them.

Sorry to disturb your Dubai-Disneyland dream, but in the real world (which you seem to have trouble dealing with), people die every day, and some tragically. Yes even in Dubai.

Do you think journalists should ignore what is going on and behave like cheerleaders and hype the fantasy instead?

Sorry to burst your breakfast bubble, but anyone who knows anything about journalism in the Middle East (and it sure sounds to me like you don't), know that running stiffs both in print and broadcast is normal.

Middle Eastern folk are not easily upset by graphic images of death and destruction and accept it as part of normal life.

Western media outlets routinely sell on their more graphic content to Middle Eastern media companies. That is the stuff they cannot run at home because it upsets the delicate western sensibilities.
The same Western people who think life is fair, everyone wins, nobody loses and we all live happily ever after.

People in the Middle East know otherwise.

Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

00.31

"Middle Eastern Folk are not easily upset by images of death and destruction"

Do you have some empirical evidence to back that up or is it just an opinion?

The problem with that image is that she was unidentified meaning her next of kin had not been reached, meaning little Johny could be reading the paper over his cereal and asking "is that aunty?"

Hence papers wait until next of kin have been notified. This is not about Disneyland, its about journalistic ethics.

I guess Middle Eastern folk in the UAE are desensitised to graphic images due to the vicious Jumeirah Beach insurgency and the Al Quoz wars of the late nineties.

Anonymous said...

What Martin did next...

http://business.maktoob.com/20090000005467/The_National_to_start_Mideast_news_service/Article.htm

Seems sensible to me.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take Gavin Dickinson long to screw things up did it !

Anonymous said...

Gavin is a south african lucky enough to get a british passport

Anonymous said...

He wants to start a ME newswire with his staff? The losers that crossed over from the erstwhile Emirates Today? One of them, a deputy news editor, I think, was reported thrice for lifting wire copy/press releases and putting his name on them.

I would love to see this working out.

Anonymous said...

Who cares where his passport is from, it irrelavant! The guy does a job and having worked with him before he does it well! He's fair and WILL get you paid fairly large sums for you doing your job well. As an employee, you cant ask for more than that. Its best to be thankful for people like him, instead of other well publicised company's and people that do not pay their staff.

Anonymous said...

@10:27

Yes, everybody is going to want to pay for content that has been censored by the Abu Dhabi authorities.

I hear IRNA is quite popular too.

Anonymous said...

British passport, lucky? One thought it was pretty has-been kinda thing to be a Brit these days.
Isn't that why so many of Brits think that expat equals "Brit out of the UK".

Certainly there are more Brits than South Africans in the Gulf. Why would they leave their country if things were so good for them?

Anonymous said...

Can I echo others who have asked if someone from the National can tell me where I might find a copy of their admirable newspaper in Abu Dhabi. I have searched everywhere for it and there is no sign of it. I do not understand this as I have read Mr Martin Newland saying it has a circulation daily of between 60,000copies to 90,000 copies. I have been making do with its online edition. This is superb. Often it risks incurring the wrath of the Ruling Family as it is irreverent and often downright mischievous in the style of Private Eye or the late Jonathan Swift. The national is fearless. It pokes fun at the government of Abu Dhabi for its habitual lying and for pandering to too many emiratis who are sadly too lazy to do a honest day's work!

Anonymous said...

i am sick and tired of all the sniping about Martin Newland. he is a GREAT editor and a GREAT bloke. He is the BEST. He is GORGEOUS. after the telegraph he came here with his tail between his legs to do a job no real editor would touch. he turned himself around, cleaned himself up and got his stuff together. he junked all the happy slappy church stuff and got stuck in. he lives hard and fast. he loves a drink and has an eye for the ladies.nothing wrong with that as he is such a attractive bloke. he has a fabulous toned physique and a kind of rock hudson profile. in private he is scathing about the abu dhabian royals and says he wishes he could have a pop at them in his paper. he cantprint the stories as he would lose his job. we cant blame him for that.

Andy said...

I always thought he was a Brit with a funny accent?

Anonymous said...

What has happened to DMO? No new comments since 7 June... Has everyone left Dubai Medialand?

Anonymous said...

hear hear to 04 15. martin is a great looking man. all us boys think he is yummy. he fizzes! also he is a very brave and brilliant man.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many of you noticed it, but Monday's page 2 of the national had a tell tale sign of what is wrong with that paper (sorry, no URL as I cannot find it online).
The photo was all about picking the grand winners of the recent subscription campaign. The transparent box was empty. There were hardly 15 entries in it.

Anonymous said...

08:07

I do have empirical evidence to back it up, especially given that I am from the Middle East. I grew watching that kind of thing.

Why don't you try watching something other than E! News, like perhaps some of the Middle Eastern channels or newspapers.

Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East will also know that videos (living wills made shortly before) of attacks by martyrs/ suicide bombers are a big hit in markets across the region. They sell like hotcakes.

Why don't you try going to a real souk, with real Middle Eastern people, not a tourist-friendly westernised version.

Take a look at the output of Middle Eastern news channels as opposed to those of Western channels. Spot the difference in content, even when the subject is exactly the same.

The same goes for the photo agencies. Take a look at what the Middle Eastern papers run compared to the Western papers. Same story, different images.

UAE-based media might have less graphic content, but that is because the vast majority of the target demographic is Western-oriented.

They are (in plenty of cases)run and staffed by Westerners who have no experience of any other part of the Middle East except Dubai/ Abu Dhabi. A good number probably haven't been to any of the other emirates.

Compare that to normal Middle Eastern media outlets and their content and staff.

You said that "The problem with that image is that she was unidentified" and that is correct.

The face was not shown and there were no significant identifying marks, short of the dress, which I suppose is not the only dress of its kind, even in Dubai.

I guess the dress narrows it down to a few hundred people in Dubai and multiples of that number in the region.

That's a heck of a lot of next of kin to sit around waiting for clearance to run the pix for.

It's not about journalistic ethics, it's about real life. There was nothing unethical whatsoever in those pix. She was unidentifiable. Repeat.

I guess you have never seen a dead body in print before, judging from your reaction.

You say that "Middle Eastern folk in the UAE are desensitised to graphic images", I would argue that your grip on reality is weaker than many Middle Eastern folk.

Maybe you are oversensitive.

Anonymous said...

I went to Abu Dhabi once (from Dubai) and it seemed to be rather boring and hot. What do the foreign editors at the National actually do for fun when they are not adding up their savings.

Anonymous said...

Less than a week later Gulf published the face of a corpse with a caption that ran something along the lines of 'do you know this woman?'.

Certainly there is merit in the debate that graphic photographs are able to depict the horrors of war better than words could ever do.

Indeed, the IHT ran a picture this week of a dead body.

But for routine suicides or for a murder, it is highly disrespectful to the family of the deceased to publish an image of a body without consent.

How would you feel if that was your mother? Your friends and work colleagues might also know what your mother looks like and could be calling you to find out what happened to her even before you knew about it.

The death of a close relative is highly personal and should be treated sensitively.

If I were in that situation I would have sued the paper.

Newspapers have no right to just blithely publish unidentified bodies when it is not an issue of public concern, such as a war.

Anonymous said...

yes yummy is the only word to describe marty. boys at the national love him. and he loves us. dont believe people who say abu dhabi is repressed. for all of you who are jealous of his pay packet and his looks i say, get a life.

Anonymous said...

@04:14: Since Martin Newland is no longer the editor, dont you think you should take your tongue out of his arse and start licking Hassan Fattah's?

By the way, according to NYT sources, Hassan Fattah's copies were one of the most badly written copies the paper's subs had ever seen.

I know the only work an editor in this part of the world needs to do is to lick arses, but dont you think he should be at least familiar with the language?

Anonymous said...

14 13. the boys on the national are only saying marty has charisma and animal magic. we all go shaky kneed when he struts past. he knows the effects he has! hes a minx! hassan is a good guy but is straight as they come. come on everyone lets loosen up.

Anonymous said...

@ 14.13
Oh we are on that, are we? Now there is an Arab editor so lets all pounce on his language.

He may not need to file copy everyday. In general, what he does need is familiarity with naunces of political intrigue, a wide network of sources in high places. In this part of the world he also needs to understand and be receptive to cultures other than his own.

Anonymous said...

Did you read about this $500 billion merger in Dubai?
Has GN lost it?
http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/09/06/26/10326282.html

Anonymous said...

The question that needs to be answered is about Hassan's experience as a newspaper editor. Has he put in the hard yards as a boss man?

Anonymous said...

11.05
That question is valid. But it's a little late. Newland should have asked and answered that when he made him his deputy.
Now he's just taken the next logical step in a simple promotion.

Anonymous said...

we all start somewhere as boss man and from what I heard he was already deputy editor and also ran the show in Iraq a while ago.

sounds more like they forgot to nominate you for the post :-)

Anonymous said...

for us boys at the national hassan isnt in the same league as martin. thats not to say hassan isnt a terrific operator. he is. he is not as inclined as martin to confront the gangsters who run abu dhabi. martin was brave. often he would confide to us when we were towelling down after a work out that he would have given the powers that be a good seeing to if it wasnt for the fact he had a wife and family (!) to support and couldnt risk losing a job paying zillions. who could? hassan doesnt have the zing of martin. all of us will miss martin who was an amazing looking dude. sometimes he would come in to the office in shorts. wow.

Anonymous said...

Hassan is a great bloke. I've worked with him in the past and he's a nice guy - maybe too nice sometimes - and he gets jobs done.

Anonymous said...

Gulf Today are looking to merge their operations. One more newspaper going down the pan?

Anonymous said...

Al Jazeera have just laid into The National, and others - inclusding the government. Ballsy!

Anonymous said...

This blog is well and truly dead. Oh well, it was good whilst it lasted. And I would pay tribute to it for its coverage of ITP over the years.

Anonymous said...

Hassan was running things here anyway, as far as I can see.
I don't see there being much difference to operations. Martin was surrounded by his guys, but Hassan has always been on the floor with the team. Nothing to report.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 16:58. Hasan has enjoyed good relationships with pretty much everyone at The National since he walked in. He cares about not only being the boss but being friends.

Hasan is easy to approach and is known for actually listening to others. I think his friendliness could hurt him, but so far he's been very good to work with.

I feel Hasan's leadership style has been a big step forward for a lot of people. Although like a good number of the senior editors (including Martin) Hasan comes across as a bit ideological on some things, it's not in a bossy way and you can talk to him and disagree. He seems to listen.

At the end of the day, it's hard to not smile when you see the guy. He works hard and wants to get along with everyone. I wish him the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I found both Martin and Hassan great to work for. Also, I'm not quite sure what 16:58 is on about, as Martin spent quite a lot of time in the newsroom and generally worked long hours.

Anonymous said...

22.19, my esteemed colleague - I don't think he could ever be accused of being seen in the newsroom too often!

Anonymous said...

I've attended dozens of meetings with Martin. He's knows what he is doing, no question.

Anonymous said...

Marty is the man from Del Monte. Fact.

Anonymous said...

On second thoughts, the meetings I have been in with him, he's come across as the Man from Milk Tray, with an element of Sonic the Hedgehog about him.

Anonymous said...

10 09

Me too. He does. He has such authority. It isnt fair. Hes such a hunk. Us boys at the national love him and will miss him. hes promised to keep in touch so all is not lost.

Anonymous said...

Yikes 20.38. did Martin sign on your hand? Let me guess? You havent used soap since?
did he promise to scent the letters too?

Anonymous said...

has anyone else heard the story that newland's first big project is to buy the independent in london? abu dhabi would love a slice of the action in britain. it would have to give guarantees of editorial independence. the story is that newland doesnt want to edit the independent as he is being groomed for great things in hollywood. no one knows who the editor would be, whether from the uk or the national. a dark horse long shot could be colin randal. he was respected for imposing standards of grammar on the national. not only brilliant intellectually also a great journalist. he cut his teeth as a reporter in the Black Country and went on to report from France. not young but keeps himself in fantastic shape doing yoga, playing five a side footie and speed walking. could he be tempted away from the vineyard in the south of France and his Sunderland FC diary? everyone who worked for him on the National says he was a natural leader. he did not have martins animal charisma. he was more of a slow burn avuncular figure. together they made a great team.

Anonymous said...

I was told recently that Martin Newland is The Stig, is this true?

Anonymous said...

indie is buzzing about a takeover by abu dhabi.

Anonymous said...

(the) stig of the dump perhaps. it's uncanny

Anonymous said...

whereas colin probably smells like a dump. really, all that keep fit in tis weather!

Anonymous said...

09 28

colin lives in europe. he is martins point man. he was spotted by my spy at the indie. hed be a great editor of the indie. hes very clever. he can write brilliantly about football, cycling,climate change, relationships, the threat from irans nuclear program. if anyone can turn around the indie he is the man. only martin could do it better.

Anonymous said...

you people are morons - the indy just moved in with the standard which is owned by Russian oligarch Lebedev - he'd obviously love a national and is just waiting for the price to be right - also the indy just took on Roger Alton from the observer - can't see him being replaced

Sorry, but where actually is Abu Dhabi?

Anonymous said...

apparently randal is drawing up a wish list of stars to join the indie. names ive heard are richard littlejohn, polly toynbee, janet street porter,carol caplan, jonathan ross, susan matthews, anna topside and russell brand. theyre all edgy. abu dhabi says no sharia law on the paper. female staff will be allowed to wear what they like and theyll be no ban on photos of women. theyll be hiring lots of new staff and paying fantastic salaries.

Anonymous said...

So much arse-licking sycophancy - so little time :)
Now, can we have a thread on whatever the hell that station is on 97.3 FM? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

the Indie in the UAE? Really? Or are we talking ADMG taking over the paper in some way?
Why would you want (regional) no marks like Caplan and Brand writing for a paper over here. And what exactly would Littlejohn have to contribute relating to this region.

Anonymous said...

I heard that TwoFour54 was launching a new English tabloid in Abu Dhabi. However several of the bosses have denied it.

What's the deal here? Does anyone know anymore?

Anonymous said...

what's the name of the station?

Anonymous said...

that list of names means something to me. but how many others?

Anonymous said...

i've heard worse!
really, what's the future for the radio stations out here?

Anonymous said...

The station (97.3 FM) is obviously on test transmission, with pre-recorded or auto-playlisted tracks, and no station ID, except for the ocassional announcement that "this is radio 24/7". It sounds like an Abu Dhabi signal, considering the strength (and the drop-out on the Corniche) but it is NOT the new ADMC Sawa sound-a-like, Star FM. All tracks US/UK, and the odd swear-word slips through, too.
Actually, the music content is not too bad, a reasonable mix of styles, but with no ID announcements (illegal in the real world) no-one appears to be too sure. Any ideas?
Also, what do you make of today's announcement that Orbit and Showtime are merging? Which channels will be dropped, and more importantly, will Fashion TV now be Orbit's uncencored version (I miss Midnite Haute...).

Anonymous said...

anyone know the real circulation of the national.

Anonymous said...

Great news about Orbit/Showtime. And about time too. Now we get twice the rubbish, for the same price. hurrah!
Dubai One have lots of cash behind them though - so perhaps, finally, something worth staying in for during these cash strapped times..?

Anonymous said...

I tuned into 97.3 earlier...sonded like a Brit channel from back home. Bring it on I say

Anonymous said...

That said, I can't seem to get it now. Test broadcast. Pirate station even?
Well, anything has to be better than those bloody idiots on Dubai Eye at 9 onwards. Are the those two house cleaner women - because
I never 'got' them either.

Anonymous said...

Actually. To bring this whole conversation on its head...is Dubai Eye Australian owned?
Because Dicko is South African. But 'international' having worked in SA, AUS, UK, UAE. And Dubai Eye sounds very AUS-centric. Can Dicko's gang take it over please and make it sound less Dame Edna????

Anonymous said...

The future for radio is uncertain .At the moment it seems that ad revenue has been almost holding up but certainly no growth .The main casualties in revenue are publishing and outdoor because of their heavy reliance on property and financial ads .Also the budgets of 'luxury ' outfits claiming to 'redefine'everything have bitten the dust .
Radio has a real problem coming as more stations fire up . The pot will not be big enough . There is too much overlap between what they do and poor signal engineering .They are all after the so called desirable market of Dubai and don't give a toss about the broader Emirates . The exception is the stuff coming out of Abu Dhabi .They will be heard everywhere but their content will be poor .You can't start a free zone station so ownership will always be one or other of the Emirates rulers ultimately .There will be more examples of the row between ENG and Fujairah Media .
Until the stations become fully accountable with modern audience research rather than the very dodgy IPSOS and Parc nonesense radio will be very hit and miss and not a serious industry .

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 01.00 have you noticed that channel 4fm is sounding more like a brit channel too?

Sounds like Capital fm london. www.capitalfm.com

Anonymous said...

It could be that Dubai's default on its loans and the less than healthy prospects for the bond sale could watch the whole thing collapse.

Don't you just love the freemarket?

Anonymous said...

the real circulation of the national? thats an oxymoron. the national doesnt exist except as a web site no one reads.

Anonymous said...

^ Yes. Of course. And that whole thing about people landing on the moon was a hoax. Btw, have you seen the unicorns down in the empty quarter? great wildlife.

Anonymous said...

God, there are a lot of bitter ITPers in here that didnt get a job at The National... You'd have to be foaming-at-the-mouth mad not to see that the national is the best local newspaper in the UAE by a country mile.

As for circulation, im sure that it doesnt have the readership of GN, but i can attest to the fact that it is widely read here in Abu Dhabi. You might not get it in Dubai any more, but thats probably because theyve shown surprising balls by covering Dubai's travails, and Sheikh Mo's doped horse.

Anonymous said...

19 48

thanks. could you tell me where I can find the national in abu dhabi. ive looked in malls and supermarkets. i saw a few copies once in a bin at the airport. i read theres a way to get the paper delivered at your home. does anyone know how this works as i only have a po box not a street address. i agree with you. under martin newland the national has campaigned with awesome courage against the conservatives, bigots and crooks who run abu dhabi. martins support for the oppressed gay community has also been awesome. well done martin! we love you.

Anonymous said...

^ What the hell?!? Go to any petrol station in the country and you'll find The National every day. In Abu Dhabi go to any of the Carrefours, Lulus, or good book stores like McGrudy's in Al Wahda Malls. There's only one bookstore on the first floor of Marina Mall which never has it, but otherwise I see it everywhere, everyday. Even little Pakistani shops have The National, it's not hard to find.

Anonymous said...

er, that's what happens when you feed the trolls - the twat @ 02:34 was trying to be clever. He failed. I blame ITP.

Anonymous said...

21 31
are you a PR for the national? lets say every supermarket in abu dhabi has 20 copies of the national (which they dont) how many copies is that? a couple of thousand. chuck in a few copies for every 'little' shop run by pakistanis (racial quality is obviously not on your agenda) and that might come to a grand total of 5000. but the shops i go to dont have the paper. their customers cant speak english and anyway dont have the money to buy papers. as others have said here newlands claim to sell betwen 60000 to 90000 copies a day is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Little Pakistani shops?Says everything about the mindset of people who work in this dump.

Anonymous said...

The sole purpose behind National's existence is to satisfy some people's egos, nothing else.

Any company that wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars on salaries and gets peanuts in revenues can never be a profitable entity.

Anonymous said...

Jeeez. There are some very bitter hacks here who obviously have been rejected from the National.

I work for rival paper to the National, but I can say that it is without a doubt the most attractive read in the region.

Why is everyone so bitter? Why are we so determined to drag down something that so obviously represents a major step forward in the quality of journalism in the region?

If you look at the main newspapers in the UK or US, there is not such a disparity in the quality.

But when you compare the KT and GN to the National its obvious there's a massive shortfall. Maybe one day all three papers can be on a level footing.

Let's applaud the National for raising the bar for all of us.

Anonymous said...

@12:46, whether the National is the "most attractive read" or not is not the point, the main thing is that it can never, ever make profit in its present form. It is posting losses and will always be a loss-making business.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any further info on the test transmissions on 97.3?

Chris said...

Well, so much for this being a media site ... still no-one seems to know (or care) about the new radio station on 97.3. Three months in, it is still on test, with NO station ID or frequency announcements: come on people, get your journalistic fingers out and do some digging!

Anonymous said...

Story is that the annual IPSOS readership numbers are about to come out. For Expats (read English speaking non arabs or something like that?) The National has doubled year on year. GN down, KT down, 7 days steady. I don't know what the full research says, but if this is true then for once quality has shown through & a lot of the sad comments on here are shown to be what they are. Just narrow minded & stupid. The paper is 16 months months old people, work it out.

Anonymous said...

Growth of 100% year on year is not as impressive as it sounds . Even allowing for the usual IPSOS dodgy numbers , if the paper is now only 16 months old , then you would expect a much greater growth pattern from a 4 month old paper to a 16 month old paper .
What really matters is paid for copies and readership ,IE , how many per copy .
Growth of 100% overthe next 12 months will be really impressive.

Anonymous said...

A very good write up on a renowned UK blogsite for an article in The National:

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/09/they-are-not-all-bad.html

Anonymous said...

If this is true I will eat my words & will also be happy the paper is working out. I did not think it had a chance as it is just to advanced for this back water.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time for a new thread on doings at the National 6 months after Newland's departure: IPSOS numbers or not, I hear Dickinson is slashing the budgets and the place is falling to pieces under Newland's successor.

Anonymous said...

The National are doing great & the readership gains proove it! Good for them & delighted that quality is working. They pay the best & get the best. It will replace the KT as the 2nd biggest paper in the UAE in 2 yrs. Never beat GN on circulation & probably does not want to.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain the circulation claims for the National? As others have said on this blog:

Only a few supermarkets and hotels in Abu Dhabi sell newspapers. Mostly they are foreign ones. Local ones have a nominal cover price.

Outside these locations you can pick up local rags for free in a few bins dotted around the city (you won't find many outside the city)

The idea that Emiratis and people whose first language is not English are avid readers of the National (see the so called readership survey ) is beyond daft.

I see no evidence the National distributes on any scale by direct mail. How could it? There are no addresses in the emirate. Only PO Boxes. Maybe some copies are sent to the offices of big companies. But how many? A few hundred?

I estimate a daily circulation for the National of a couple of thousand.

If someone knows better please explain.

It doesnt matter to the government who owns the National. The rag is loose change to them.

The National is an elegant PR exercise to con the world that AD has a 'free' press. The emirate is what it is: a dictatorship srviced by millions of slave workers from south east Asia. All of us who work here know that. We are here for the money or because we cannot get jobs at home.

Anonymous said...

anon at 13.31 is spot on. The National is an attempt to hoodwink a nation that the press can be tough. Even the hacks there live under the assumption that they are waving a sword of truth, cutting swathes through injustice and wrongdoing in the country. Actually, what they get to do is snipe about Dubai and how bad everything is there, whilst AD gets an easy ride.

Most hilarious of all is the attitude of the journos at The National. They really think they are contributing to something special when as the earlier anon noted, they are just wheels in a PR machine for AD. Also, its quite apparent from their research, that however fast growing it may be, the fact of the matter is that no one reads it. Its still about a third of Gulf News and still less than KT.

I love the claim that its top among Emiratis, the old Emirates Today boasted of this. Why? because its a load of sycophantic old tosh that is basically an English translation of a cloying Arabic paper. Be more challenging and you will lose the Emirati reader.

Anonymous said...

The last two anons are right. I go further. If an independent audit of the National was carried out - and maybe someone should challenge them to do that! - you would find the circulation of the National was a couple of thousand. Has anyone ever seen a van carrying copies of the National? How are the claimed thousands of copies distributed. By magic? I would be amazed if any were bought, either at a reduced price or at a discount. I bet they are handed out for free. The unspoken fact of publishing life in the UAE is that all locally produced publications are free. Only the foreign press, only available at a handful of shops, is bought. Of course the hacks at the National and other places won't admit this. They like to pretend they are proper journos. If they were they wouldn't be working for these rags. The guys in charge like Newland are making millions but their staffs are deluded mugs.

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes guys. The paper is well designed, well written, well marketed & promoted + has a growing reach. At 18 Months it is doing pretty well from where I sit & most of my mates pick it up as 1st choice. There are limitations on all media here. The big issue for me is that THEY WRITE THEIR OWN STUFF. So you go boys!

Anonymous said...

Good subs drive on the paper with the Mont Blanc pen - I took it up & very nice it is to (Pen & paper).

From what I hear Dickinson has done good things in there so far. If he is cutting budgets then he is doing what newspaper MD's are doing all over the World. Big deal.

Anonymous said...

Growing reach? Where? How? Will someone explain how the National can sell tens of thousands of copies a day when there is no distribution network and no shops. This is not 'sour grapes.' It is plain common sense. Where do anon's 'mates' 'pick it up' - do they pay for it? Of course not. And yes, the National's hacks write stories. That is what they are paid to do so it is hardly surprising. There are many subjects they cannot touch. They are monitored constantly by the government stooges who run the paper to make sure they don't overstep agreed marks. Those hacks who ask the wrong - that is proper - questions are sacked. In short, the National is an elegant con.

Anonymous said...

I work for a different company, but still think The National is head and shoulders above anything else out here.....

Any place I see it (coffee shops, McDonalds, Receptions, Hotels etc I will pick it up and read first.

Refreshing journalism and some good stuff on Iran recently.

Give it some more time on the circ front....

Anonymous said...

yes, the guys are pining for martin at the national. he promised to keep in touch with us but hes moved on to bigger and better guys! such is life.

Anonymous said...

OK.

As you guys are all about content all the time let me enlighten you on some of the mkt publishing realities

For most publications the actual single copy sale is low. Gulf News after 30yrs of effort sell about 12 000 every day at the till point. There are about 5 000 places in the UAE you can sell printed media. To the person who said 'there are no shops, wake up please!'

I agree that The National must be selling about 3- 5 thousand a day, but when you consider it is 18 months old, that is a result. The other reality is that they 'free drop' into different areas (I used to get it free in the Springs & my man now get's it free in the Lakes) so presumably some do not buy it as they get it as a trial.

How else are they supposed to break into the mkt?

Word is they have 15 000subs?

The reality here is that the GN has built up about 80 000subscribers & that is the real task for Dickinson & Newland on The National. If you look at the 2 subs offers they have run, it looks to me like they are on track.

It is ALL about advertising. Somthing like 60% of ALL the ad money in the UAE is in the Newspaper game. Lets call spend 1 billion. $600 000 000 in afew papers is a whole lot of cashola - so even the really shite can make money (think K Times).

As a bsheet paper The Nat will be doing about Dhs100 000 000 pa in ad rev, I put 7 Days (suffering from tabliod pricing & mass but economicably 'poor' readership at doing about Dhs35 000 000pa. GN will have done Dhs500 000 000 at the top of the boom & will be luck y to do Dhs250 000 000 this year. The Arabic papers basically charge rate card & make millions upon millions.

The National will be pushing the paper in hotels, airlines, coffee bars (I see it all over the place), gyms etc etc all in an attempt to get peopel to try it. To be fair I see all the other papers doing that as well. The mag industry do it all the time.

How many copies do you think Time Out actually sell, or Ahlan, or Gulf Business, yet all will do a fair job selling ads at $2 000 per page.

Looking at the National salary bill (which ofcourse we have, thank you for whoever posted that on the web) with some trimming & a print run that is realistic (it is a niche paper & does not need to sell to the mass like GN) ADMC should make it work. The paper should book Dhs200 000 000pa & on that number can return profit.

To many of the writers on this site work for tiny mags on a monthly cycle (11 or 12 issues)and have no idea of just how much the papers take even in a piss poor mkt.

Remember the GN will be charging DHS45 000 for a full colour gloss page & if you want any kind of position loading will apply. So the $$ starts to roll in.

In my view The National is about 7/8% behind the KT for 'non arab expats' that means all the Asians, Europeans ad others - basically what the advertiser looks for when buying English newspapers (Arabs are targetted in Arabic press) and I think the KT is older than the GN. That says to me The National have a growing up mkt readership (you cannot be a dunce & read that paper if you have any hope of understanding it) and will soon be the 2nd bigest english paper in the UAE.

Those are some of the economics guys. As for free press etc etc, I think we all get the drill.

Anonymous said...

haha, I love the fact that the posters here have migrated from criticising the editorial quality of The National (which is clearly superior to anything in the UAE except the local version of the FT) and are how banging on about the circulation.

"yeah, you may be a better journalist, better paid (and paid on time) and not permanently worried about your jobs, but ive never seen any mid-night delivery trucks with the National! QED, only 25 people read it!"

A lot of the discrepancy between the different readership claims is because of the difference between "readership" and "circulation". If X copies are bought they probably claim X times 4 readers. Often moderately dishonest of course, but better than the ITP method of stacking them high everywhere and claiming 56 readers for each copy sold.

Anyway, ive also heard that Hassan Fattah is going down like a lead balloon with the hacks. Anyone at the National care to comment?

Anonymous said...

having now returned to the UK after a couple of years in the sandpit , all this stuff about the National and everything else seems to be completely surreal .There is no local publication in the UAE that is a newspaper in the correct sense.
Do you know what the problem actually is ?
For all of it's faults the problem is democracy . If there are no elections there are no campaigns . The basis of success in the Western world in the media [other than entertainment] is to bang a drum about one issue or another.No election ,no drum , no issues.The bulk of media in the Middle East is akin to parish magazine pap.
It took the West many generations to realise that their rulers were not deities . If the UAE wants to be taken seriously in the future as the importance of oil decreases then it must get real .Otherwise ,'dust to dust'.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the National over the last couple of weeks, and have come to the conclusion that it really is not very good at all.

In fact you would not give it the time of day anywhere else in the world.

There is something really amateur and long winded about it. Like it's purposefully trying to fuck up any good story it manages to get hold of. A real disappointment after all the hype.

I can't claim I am going back to GN - I never read that either. I am, however, going to stick with getting my news online for the moment.

Disappointing - was it better with Newland or as turgid?

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 18.40 said:


Anyway, ive also heard that Hassan Fattah is going down like a lead balloon with the hacks. Anyone at the National care to comment?




can we get a new thread here on the national? clearly there's nothing else to talk about.

Humeid said...

nice new songs in the 97.3 FM
nice that its only music,, no dani & shina

still no idea on the channel's name!!