BNC Publishing makes new appointment

Dubai-based publishing agency, BNC Publishing has appointed Mahak Mannan to the role of Editor of Catering News Middle East. With over six years of experience in the publishing industry, Mahak previously worked with 7DAYS as News and Features Writer and The National as News Reporter. She most recently took on the role of PR Manager at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre. In her new role, she will cover everything related to the F&B industry and oversee the end-to-end content as well as design of the magazine. She will also assist with organising the magazine’s two annual events – The Big F&B Forum and Leaders in F&B Awards.

“The F&B and hospitality industry in the UAE is at a very strong point right now with a lot to explore and I look forward to working on a title that highlights the best of the industry,” says Mahak. “The combination of my past experience in publishing and hospitality will certainly benefit as I start my new role as Editor for Catering News ME.”

Thomson Reuters promotes Shane McGinley

Thomson Reuters has promoted Shane McGinley to the role of Head of Editorial Content. Having joined Zawya in 2016 as Web Editor, Shane previously worked with 7DAYS as Business Reporter and most recently with Arabian Business, a publication of ITP Media Group, as Executive Editor. In his new role, he will oversee and develop content for a wide range of digital properties within the Emerging Business department and work across its regional websites, including, Salaam Gateway, My Salaam, Thomson Reuters Projects and Accelerate SME.

New appointment at AMEinfo

AMEinfo, part of Mediaquest Corporation, has welcomed Hina Latif to the role of Journalist. With over six years of experience in the media and publishing industry, Hina previously worked with Ahlan! magazine, a publication of ITP Media Group, 7DAYS and most recently with dmg events. In her new role, she will write across AMEinfo’s digital platforms and work towards gaining coverage of the biggest stories of the day, the week and the year.

“We have ambitious plans for the future and with my appointment, I am confident that I will contribute to the continued positive development of AMEinfo,” says Hina.

In The Hot Seat – Caitlyn Davey

Team TMN catch up with Caitlyn Davey, Deputy Editor at Lovin Dubai, who talks about her new role and what she thinks of the media industry in the Middle East…

Name: Caitlyn Davey

Age: 28

From: Australia

Current job title: Deputy Editor, Lovin Dubai

When did you first arrive in Dubai?

I worked in Abu Dhabi from February 2013, then got a job with 7DAYS in September 2014 after which, I moved to Dubai in January 2015.

Where did you work prior?

I was working part-time in Brisbane media for a community radio station as well as freelance.

What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?

I didn’t know a lot about the local media. I was familiar with a few publications, but came over to stay with my mum so she introduced me to a lot of it.

Has your opinion changed much?

I’ve learnt a lot about the country and the media landscape – it’s an interesting time to be in media in the UAE as it changes and shifts towards digital. I don’t think my opinion has changed, so much as I have learnt more.

Tell us about your current role…

I’m the Deputy Editor at Lovin Dubai, which means I’m responsible for the editorial content on the site. It’s a digital product so I spend my days hunting down stories, writing them up quickly and working with our commercial team. I also work on the social media, running competitions, engaging with our followers and finding new ways to present information.

What challenges do you face?

Time is our biggest battle, we’re a small team and are producing a huge amount of content so it’s always a race against the clock to get enough well-written coverage. As a new brand, we’re growing rapidly and working to expand on our brand awareness.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping community initiatives have a voice is really enjoyable. I love hearing from our readers too – whether that’s through social media or personally. Our site gets a lot of feedback and it’s always exciting to know people are reading and engaging with our content.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

Email, always email!

What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?

I think there are some excellent publications here that produce quality content. I would like to see more quality digital products, but I think that’s happening now.

Is traditional media still relevant in the UAE today?

Absolutely, I have worked in traditional media prior to my current job and it’s a fundamental part of life here. Revenue still comes from print advertising to a large degree and while that is shifting, it’s still a part of the makeup of a lot of companies. Plus I think there’s something so luxurious about the aesthetics of a piece of paper in your hand – it’s the same with books.

Describe yourself in five words…

Passionate, hilarious, enthusiastic, creative and loud

What’s your most overused saying?

That’s amazing…

What’s the most exciting thing that has happen to you in your career?

It sounds corny, but getting the job at 7DAYS was one of the best things to ever happen to me, it opened so many doors. And because of that job – I inadvertently signed up for a boxing reality TV show for a story and ended up on the show, and in a boxing ring. Also, meeting Michael Buble was a highlight.

Five things you can’t live without?

Bottle of water, phone, laptop, my Converse shoes, a pen… and paper.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

Something where I don’t have to sit down too long – I’m happiest outside, moving around and talking to people.

What is your favourite form of media (i.e; TV, radio, print)?

TV and video will always have a special place in my heart. I love that it has both visual and audio components and when it’s lifestyle content, I get to inject a bit of my own personality into the mix. In saying that, writing is always an important part of the equation because whether it’s TV, digital, radio or anything, there’s still an element of writing to it.

How do you see the media industry changing in the UAE in the coming years?

More digital presence from the existing brands, and more apps. I think with sites like Lovin Dubai leading the way, we will get more fast-paced products aiming to share information more rapidly. I’d also expect to see more online video and TV channels establishing themselves in the UAE as news providers.

New Senior Correspondent at Khaleej Times

UAE-based newspaper, Khaleej Times has appointed Sarwat Nasir to the role of Senior Correspondent. With over four years of experience in journalism, Sarwat previously worked with 7DAYS as News Reporter where she produced videos and reported to the news desk with a focus on human interest, education and general stories. In her new role, she will report to the news desk with breaking and exclusive stories as well as produce videos with a focus on different topics for Khaleej Times.

“I am very excited to work with Khaleej Times and bring in breaking stories, as well as produce digital content,” says Sarwat.

New Deputy Editor at Lovin Dubai

Caitlyn Davey joins online guide, Lovin Dubai as Deputy Editor. Previously Features Journalist at weekly newspaper, 7DAYS UAE, Caitlyn will now manage all editorial content on Lovin Dubai’s page. In her new role, she will be responsible for content creation for breaking news and features as well as work with digital clients to boost multimedia presence of the brand through social media.

Lovin Dubai is growing rapidly and I’m particularly excited to be working as Deputy Editor – to continue on the 7DAYS legacy of social media, as well as grow and learn from the Augustus team in the digital sphere,” says Caitlyn

New Editor at Hotel News Middle East

Monthly hospitality title, Hotel News Middle East, part of BNC Publishing has welcomed Patrick Ryan to the role of Editor. With over 16 years of experience in the industry, Patrick was previously Assistant News Editor at weekly newspaper, 7Days. In his new role, Patrick will oversee and contribute to content creation for the publication’s print and digital platforms as well as manage all events and awards under the Hotel News Middle East brand.

 “Having worked across business desks for over a decade, it wasn’t hard to see just how important the hotel industry is to the entire region,” says Patrick. “It’s a dynamic and thriving sector and I’m looking forward to being at the helm of what’s already a vibrant and informative title. These are exciting times for the hotel industry and it’s my goal to ensure that Hotel News Middle East not only reflects that, but is right at the heart of everything that happens in the hotel sector across the region.”

Further media closures across the UAE

Following the recent announcement that local newspaper 7days will cease operations this month, more print titles have declared closure by the end of 2016. Falling under the umbrella of the ITP Publishing Group, homegrown women’s monthly, Viva will discontinue operations after more than 11 years in publication, with their final issue on news stands now. In addition, Arab Publishing Partners’ quarterly titles Hello! Arabia and Hello! Indo Arabia have ceased publishing.

UAE newspaper announces closure

UAE-based newspaper, 7DAYS has announced the closure of its newspaper and online news publication. The news brand will cease operations after 13 years of publishing in the UAE with its final print issue to be published on Thursday, December 22, 2016.

“Whilst it was our stated intention to re-focus and restructure the business for 2017 and beyond, it has since proved not possible to create an acceptable cost base that could deliver a viable and sustainable business,” says Mark Rix, CEO, 7DAYS. “It is therefore with great sadness that we announce the unique 7DAYS news brand will close and thus, cease to inform and entertain the UAE in its refreshing and inimitable way. I have only praise and admiration for the dedicated and talented team that have created such a popular media portfolio over the past 13 years and I wish each of them every future success and happiness.”

7Days to go weekly

7Days is to become a weekly publication starting from January 1, 2017. The Dubai based newspaper will now focus on its digital presence and be published as a bumper weekly edition every Thursday.

“The time has arrived for us to take bold decisions that enable us firstly to continue to operate profitably and then continue to build on the core competencies that have been developed over the past 13 years in first-class content creation, distribution and customer engagement,” says Mark Rix, Chief Executive Officer, 7 Days.

Claire Sharrock, Managing Editor, 7days adds “Our 7DAYS print title will reflect its new status as a quality, free, weekly newspaper. The Thursday edition will see an increased focus on community issues and lifestyle as well as analysis. Our unique personality and reporting style much loved by our readers will continue as normal.”