Arab Media Group's future in the balance

AMG Staff to be absorbed by Dubai rival; TV facility fate unknown.
Dubai Media IncArab Media group, News, Broadcast Business

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Dubai-based media giant, Arab Media Group’s (AMG) Noor Dubai TV and radio staff will shift to Dubai Media Inc. at the end of this month, DPME.com can reveal.

Between 80 and 100 AMG staff from the technical and operations side of Noor Dubai’s TV and radio facility are expected to move to DMI by the end of the year.

A month ago, some of AMG’s assets including its newspapers and Noor Dubai were transferred to rival state-backed media giant Dubai Media Inc, giving the latter a significant advantage over the former.

With the relocation, the fate of AMG’s state-of-the-art TV facility in Dubai Studio City hangs in the balance.

Unnamed sources in both companies confirmed that talks were ongoing to see what could be done with the equipment.

“At this point, we are not sure whether some of that equipment will be absorbed by DMI or the facility will be completely dismantled,” commented a source close to both organisations.

“There is also the option of outsourcing the facility to a third party at Studio City,” the source added.

In the meantime, AMG continues to retain the licenses to Nickelodeon Arabia and MTV. It has also retained ownership of Arab Radio Network (ARN), its radio arm, which is operated out of Dubai Media City.

Uncertainty hangs over the future role of AMG’s TV and radio staff in DMI’s broadcast operations, although it is believed that they will be absorbed into the company, according to inside sources.

Industry sources have questioned the feasibility of having two state-backed media giants operating within the emirate of Dubai. The impact of the recession has led to speculation Dubai authorities plan a full merger of AMG and DMI in 2010.

 

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