FIPP appoints new President and CEO

FIPP has appointed James Hewes to the role of President and CEO starting September, 2017. James previously worked in the UK with BBC Worldwide’s Haymarket Exhibitions as Director and The Art Newspaper as Interim CEO. He later moved to the UAE and worked at Gulf News Publishing as Publishing Director, was appointed to FIPP’s Management Board as Director in 2015 and founded his own company, Soho Consultancy in 2016. In his new role, he will lead the FIPP team to ensure that they continue to deliver products and services that reflect their growth and strategic development as well as enhance the team’s ability to thrive in the changing media environment.

“I am a huge supporter of FIPP and it’s an incredible honour to be asked to lead the organisation,” says James. “FIPP’s ability to connect its members with the information networking opportunities and expertise they need are more important than ever.”

GN Publishing to launch high-end fashion title

GN Publishing has signed an agreement with Le Grand Kapital to launch CitizenK Arabia and CitizenK Homme Arabia in the Middle East. CitizenK International is a leading luxury lifestyle and fashion magazine in France with a circulation in excess of 100,000 copies per issue. The magazine was launched in 1992 and is owned and edited by its Founder, Parisian fashion industry icon Kappauf. CitizenK Arabia will be published in a mixture of English and Arabic – with small dedicated sections in simplified Chinese, Russian and Farsi – four times a year from March 2016, and will cover the world of luxury fashion and lifestyle from a local and international perspective. CitizenK Homme Arabia will contain a unique mix of luxury fashion and lifestyle content targeted at a male audience.

Both magazines will be distributed together, with a total print run of 20,000 copies. They will be priced at AED40 in the UAE, with CitizenK Arabia and CitizenK Homme Arabia being distributed in retail across the GCC, to VIP homes and at selected boutique retail outlets, hotels and luxury venues in the UAE.

“I am delighted that we are launching CitizenK Arabia, an exciting new force in the GCC’s luxury lifestyle media space,” says James Hewes, Publishing Director, GN Publishing. “The opportunity to bring France’s premier luxury lifestyle magazine to this market is not to be missed and I look forward to working with Kappauf to deliver CitizenK Arabia to the region’s luxury consumers.”

Kappauf adds “CitizenK Arabia is the next step in our international expansion and is a project particularly close to my heart due to my Syrian origin.”

GN Publishing launches

GN Publishing has announced the launch of an all-new technology blog, The fully responsive site, which works seamlessly across desktop and mobile, will give readers in the UAE up-to-the-minute tech and consumer electronics news and reviews. The website is the digital platform of #GNTECH, Gulf News’ consumer technology brand, and builds on the success of the existing monthly print title, which was launched in August and distributed with Gulf News.

The brand covers consumer electronics topics ranging from gaming and product reviews to buying guides and apps. will feature news and launches in the world of technology as they happen, provide in-depth content from experts in the industry as well as live coverage from key events in the technology sector, such as CES.

“Technology is driving massive change in our society and I’m incredibly delighted that we’re launching in this sector – a genuinely digital first offering,” says James Hewes, Publishing Director, GN Publishing. “This is a very exciting project for GN Publishing, one that we’re confident will become a key player in a competitive marketplace.”

Gareth Kurt Warren, Editor, adds “The region has experienced rapid transformation to become more technologically advanced. Our readers are now constantly on the go and are looking for quick media consumption; they are increasingly relying on web-based, digital and social media platforms for their news fix, especially when it comes to technology. Our new website is GN Publishing’s response to this dynamic dependence on digital content in our readers’ fast-paced lives.”

WatchTime Middle East launches app edition

Watch and horology magazine WatchTime Middle East has launched the first fully interactive digital app edition of the title, available exclusively for iPad in the Apple App Store. The app edition, which launches with the latest issue of GN Publishing’s quarterly magazine, is available to download across the GCC. It will include the same content as the print edition, as well as app-only content such as videos featuring regional collectors and industry experts. Future issues of the app edition will publish simultaneously to the print edition and are priced at AED29.99 for a single issue, or AED69.99 for an annual subscription.

“It was important that the reader has a completely new experience on the iPad with interactive content and exclusive videos; I’m happy to say that we’ve managed to do that on our digital app edition of the magazine,” says Nitin Nair, Editor, WatchTime Middle East. “It’s an exciting new format for us and initial feedback from readers and the industry has exceeded our expectations.”

James Hewes, Publishing Director, GN Publishing, adds “I’m delighted that WatchTime Middle East has extended its reach with the new fully interactive digital app edition. It is our first move into fully interactive, paid-for apps as readers look for more than just digital page-turner replicas of their favourite magazines. The interactive format of the app also gives us the ability to offer clients an exciting new platform to reach engaged watch enthusiasts in the GCC.”

Judy Cogan made Lifestyle Editor of Friday magazine

Judy Cogan has been appointed as Lifestyle Editor of Gulf News Magazines’ flagship title, Friday. Having been in the position of Acting Lifestyle Editor since April of this year, Judy takes over from Tabitha Barda and will be in charge of Friday’s fashion, beauty, health, travel, food and review pages.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the number one magazine in the UAE,” says Judy. “Food, health, fashion and travel are all incredibly popular pages within Friday and I hope to make them even more compelling. I’m more than ready for this new and unique challenge and I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with you all!”

Karen Pasquali Jones, Editor of Friday magazine adds, “Tabitha was a hard act to follow but I found the perfect replacement in Judy. She is a lifestyle expert with myriad ideas and an amazing energy – she is great at finding stories, networking and giving the readers exactly what they want.”

James Hewes, Publishing Director of Gulf News Magazines and Gulf News Publishing concludes “Judy is a fantastic addition to the team. Friday is going from strength to strength, and with Judy as part of the editorial team it will only get stronger.”

Aquarius Magazine launches redesign

Aquarius Magazine has undergone a full redesign and rebrand unveiled for this month’s June issue. In circulation since 2002, this is the first restructure of the women’s lifestyle magazine, and includes a new look, new logo and new attitude.

“While the title has always been very close to our hearts and a vital part of our portfolio, we wanted to offer readers a new and fresh look to compliment our new editorial attitude,” says Katie Heskett, Associate Publisher, Gulf News Magazines. “We have changed our focus to address all elements of a woman’s life – from careers and parenting to fashion and beauty, food and home. With so much more content on offer and various platforms that we are able to deliver it on – including our website, app, social media and monthly events – we wanted to have a fresher look that fitted a new era for the title.”

Louisa Wilkins, Editor of Aquarius Magazine adds, “Aquarius is such a well-loved and respected magazine with our readers. Our commitment to them remains our top priority, and this redesign and editorial direction will offer them even more great content and opportunities to engage with us. It’s amazing to see how the magazine has developed this year – we’ve done a lot of work and research with our readers to get this final results and the feedback from them has already been fantastic.”

Gulf News Publishing Director James Hewes further adds, “The magazine is one of the most important titles at Gulf News Magazines, and to see this exciting new direction is just one part of our ongoing development plans for our women’s lifestyle group.”

WatchTime to launch Middle East edition

Gulf News Magazines will launch the Middle East edition of WatchTime magazine tomorrow, which will hit the newsstands quarterly in all major newsagents, supermarkets and up to 100 select hotels. With a circulation of 8,000, WatchTime Middle East will be a quarterly title and comprise a mix of the best US editorial and locally sourced content, with Editor Nitin Nair and Features Editor Craig Hawes working closely with Joe Thompson, WatchTime Editor-In-Chief.

“The launch of WatchTime Middle East couldn’t be more timely,” says James Hewes, Publishing Director, Gulf News Magazines. “Swiss watch imports to the UAE have risen by 36 per cent in the last two years and we’re confident that WatchTime, already a highly respected publication in the industry, will quickly become a must-read for watch enthusiasts and collectors in the region.”

Gerrit Klein, CEO of Ebner Publishing International, parent company of WatchTime adds, “We are very happy to welcome Gulf News Magazines as a great business partner. They share our strategy of publishing top-quality media with the highest journalistic standards and an absolute focus on readers. Ebner Publishing has been a family-owned business with a global focus for 200 years and Gulf News is a respected authority with many years of experience in the Middle East – an ideal combination. We are sure that WatchTime Middle East will grow fast and achieve the same reputation among watch fans and the watch industry as WatchTime USA has had in the 15 years since its launch.”

Mark Setchfield joins Friday as Art Editor

Mark Setchfield, the former Art Director of Best, Love it!, Bliss and Maxim, has joined Friday as Art Editor. The award-winning designer has also worked on the British versions of Elle, Marie Claire and Grazia and most recently launched Trinity Mirror’s new website for The People newspaper.

“We are thrilled to have Mark on board,” says Gulf News Magazine’s publishing director James Hewes. “With his wealth of experience across multiple platforms we will be able to take the Friday brand to the next level.”

Mark worked with Friday Editor Karen Pasquali Jones on the launch of Love it!, the award-winning women’s weekly for News International. She adds, “It’s an exciting time for Friday and Mark’s addition to an already talented team means we can go forward with some dynamic plans for 2014.”

Mark, who left Trinity Mirror in London to join Friday, continues, “This is a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to help Friday thrive and grow. It’s a unique challenge but one that I’m more than ready for.”

Friday is distributed weekly with Gulf News, which has a total audited circulation of 105,792 copies (BPA Audit, June 2013, Friday edition). Friday has a total readership of 360,000.

Katie Heskett joins Gulf News Magazines

Previously Publisher at ITP Consumer Publishing for the Ahlan! Group of magazines and websites, Katie Heskett has joined Gulf News Magazines as Associate Publisher for the Women’s Lifestyle and Homes & Interiors brands.

Currently focusing on Aquarius and InsideOut magazines and websites, Katie is also working on new launches in 2014.

“After eight great years at ITP, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take on a really exciting new challenge with a great team at Gulf News Magazines. The plans we have for Aquarius and Inside Out both in print and online – as well as the developments taking place overall at Gulf News Magazines – are inspirational and I’m looking forward to being a part of a market-leading publishing organisation.”

James Hewes, Publishing Director for Gulf News Magazines, said: “I am delighted to welcome Katie to the Gulf News Magazines team. I’m incredibly excited by her appointment and I know that she’ll be using her wealth of publishing expertise to take Aquarius and InsideOut to the next level. Katie’s appointment is just the first of a number of exciting developments planned for the next few months as we start a new phase in the development of Gulf News Magazines.”