Pinpoint Media Group welcomes Gareth Kurt Warren 

Pinpoint Media Group has appointed Gareth Kurt Warren to the role of Head of Digital Strategy. With over ten years of experience in regional PR and journalism, Gareth previously worked with where he held the role of Launch Editor and most recently worked with Gulf News Guides where he held the role of Editor. In his new role, he will oversee the digital and social growth of magazines under the agency including Altitudes, Yachts Middle East, Debonair, Watch 1010 and La Femme, while also standing in as the Acting Digital Editor

“EDGAR is one of the oldest, most trusted and dependable men’s magazine in the region,” says Gareth. “It has had incredible editors and writers since its launch and it’s amazing to contribute to the brand’s growth. PPMG have a collection of amazing brands, well-respected print titles, and passionate Editors. Taking these brands to the next level, online, is going to be fun and quite exciting.”

Pinpoint Media group welcomes Thomas Billinghurst

Pinpoint Media Group has appointed Thomas Billinghurst to the role of Deputy Editor of Debonair and Watch 1010. With a wealth of experience in the media industry, Thomas previously worked for titles such as Arabian Aerospace, SportAccord Daily, Gulf News and tabloid!. In his new role, he will further develop Pinpoint Media Group’s reputation for quality journalism and content that defines the image of luxury men’s lifestyle in the region and beyond. He will also be responsible for overseeing all print and online content for both Debonair and Watch 1010

“I share a deep-rooted affinity with the core ethos of Debonair: prioritising enduring style over ephemeral crazes,” says Thomas. “We seek to present narratives that will stand the test of time. From our cover stories to our fashion pieces, we highlight those aspects of rarefied living that set us apart from the rest. I think it’s this symbiotic connection that makes this role the most natural of fits.”

In The Hot Seat – Rob Chilton

Team TMN catch up with Rob Chilton, Editor at Edgar Middle East who talks about his role and what he thinks of the media industry in the Middle East…

Name: Rob Chilton

Age: 42

Nationality: British

Current Job Title: Editor, Edgar Middle East

When did you first arrive in Dubai?

April 2013. Which feels like five minutes ago.

Where did you work prior?

I had two and a half fantastic years at What’s On Dubai. Before that I worked for entertainment magazines in London and New York. It was an endless whirl of celebrities, parties, red carpets and gossip – tough gig.

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

Everyone knew everyone, everyone had worked with each other and everyone was dating someone in the media. Not so much six degrees of separation, more like two. Plus, after working in London and New York, Dubai magazine teams felt small and stretched.

Has your opinion changed much?

Not really, only many of these media people have now married each other and had babies.

Tell us about your current role.

I write stories and interview people for Edgar in print and online. I also have an hour-long slot on Dubai Eye radio waffling about manly things. The pace is relentless and momentum is key in keeping the magazine ticking over. Turning a page from white to green on my flatplan is a huge, nerdy pleasure.

What challenges do you face?

I like that old quote from Rebecca West: “Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space.” It’s just me on the Edgar staff so I feel pressure to fill space, like any other magazine editor. Time evaporates and my heart rate speeds up as the end of the month nears, which is an addictive feeling. I quite like pressure, but I don’t enjoy chaos.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

1. Stop looking at my screen and gaze out the window. 2. Type any old rubbish, just to get my fingers moving – sometimes knowing what does not work helps me to know what does. 3. If I’m really stuck, which, thankfully, is rare, I go for a brisk walk around the block.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Sniffing out a story. That’s been my number one pleasure of being a journalist since I started out as a reporter on TV Times magazine in London in 1997. Interviewing someone, probing and prodding, steering them to say a good line and then pouncing on it – I still find that exciting. Although with my knees it’s not so much of a pounce anymore, but more of a creaky lunge.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

A succinct email please.

What do you think of publications in the region?

Pretty good, considering the size of the teams and the time constraints. There are some excellent writers in Dubai media.

What role has digital media played when it comes to reader engagement in the magazine industry?

Attention spans have shrunk to a matter of seconds. People don’t actually sit and concentrate and read. It’s just picture, video, caption, picture, video, caption… To engage readers I feel stories must be interesting, clearly written and instantly accessible.

Has the region’s culture and diverse audience posed as a limitation or advantage in producing editorial content?

I welcome it. I know a lot more about the Middle East than I did before working here. I don’t see the region’s diversity as limiting editorial content unless I’m doing a story for Edgar about bars, when I must tread carefully, but there’s always a way round it.

What’s your pet PR peeve?

Phoning me two minutes after I receive an email invitation to chase me on it. If I can make it to the event and it’s relevant to Edgar I promise I will RSVP.

What do you think of media ethics in the region?

UAE media is a happy environment where nobody wants to rock the boat so I think everyone plays by the rules. When I worked in entertainment magazines we sailed close to the wind on many occasions because competition for sales was fierce and we had to beat our rivals. But in today’s media world selling copies isn’t so crucial anymore which means, by and large, nobody cuts corners or does anything naughty.

Describe yourself in five words…

Tall. Chatty. Happy. Always hungry.

Who inspires you?

Writers and broadcasters like Adam Buxton, Giles Coren, James Richardson, Amy Lawrence, William Boyd, David Dimbleby, PG Wodehouse, Henry Winter, Sathnam Sanghera, Claudia Winkelman, Barney Ronay. Away from writing, the majestic Patrick Vieira.

What’s your most overused saying?

“Yeah, sure.” And “Excuse me [insert name of art director here], do you have a second?”

Five things you can’t live without?

Tea. Travel. Swimming. Afternoon naps. My wife’s freckles.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a little kid I once went into the bathroom of a fancy hotel in Dublin with my Dad and saw the attendant in a white dinner jacket, handing out towels, soap and mints. I came out of the bathroom and told my parents that was the job I wanted when I grew up. True story.

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

Maybe an English teacher, sports photographer perhaps. Or bossing the midfield for Arsenal.

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

I miss UK radio a lot. I love most magazines and newspapers, and the smell of the ink. Sadly it’s getting more and more of a nostalgic experience for me now. Reading the news on an iPad is ok and I think The Times online edition is brilliant, but I believe we all need to spend less time with tech and more time talking to people. Nobody just sits still, stares into the distance and thinks anymore. We all scuttle around, head down, mindlessly scrolling – and I think that’s sad.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in the media industry in the UAE?

Dive in, folks. Meet people, make friends, be polite, work hard and when you see an opportunity, grab it. There is lots of freedom and movement in UAE media so you’ll find an opening. If I can forge a media career in the UAE, anybody can.

Pinpoint Media Group welcomes Rob Chilton

Rob Chilton will be continuing his role as Editor of Edgar Middle East after Pinpoint Media Group’s recent acquisition of Lux Media Group. Having joined the magazine in 2015, Rob oversaw its print and online editions, and also represented the title during a weekly radio slot on Dubai Eye. Rob will continue to work across Edgar Middle East’s print, digital and radio platforms, covering men’s fashion, restaurants, watches, travel, sport, film, grooming, motoring and culture.

Pinpoint Media Group makes new acquisition

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has acquired the complete publishing and online roster of Edgar, Altitude and Yachts magazines. The acquisition of the luxury lifestyle titles, previously owned by LuxMedia Middle East, will enable Pinpoint Media Group to reach a new group of readers and commercial entities in print, while also expanding an online presence in line with the company’s strategic goals in the region.

“The acquisition of LuxMedia Middle East’s publishing assets allows us to offer our clients a broader portfolio suited to a wider range of brands under their control,” says Darren Hodgkin, Chief Executive Officer, Pinpoint Media Group. “Edgar, Altitudes and Yachts have built solid reputations in both the GCC and globally, and each will complement our existing roster in their own right. I look forward to developing the titles further, expanding the successful events program and growing the digital presence of each masthead in line with the overall vision of our modern day global publishing house.” launches new look

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has re-launched its men’s online lifestyle publication, The revamped website will include an expanded e-commerce platform to offer a range of clothing, footwear, accessory and grooming products. The platform will also feature a stronger synergy between the magazine’s editorial content and products in its online store for its readers, suppliers and advertisers to access from across the region.

“The website boasts of a carefully curated mix of items that fit the magazine’s DNA and align with its mandate of offering readers access to luxury lifestyle content and products,” says Darren Hodgkin, CEO, Pinpoint Media Group. “This means readers get the high-quality editorial content Debonair is known for supplemented by products related to the articles.”

Pinpoint makes new appointment

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has appointed Harshani Dinushika to the role of Marketing Assistant and Graphic Designer. A graduate from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing with Philosophy, Harshani most recently worked with Noviplus as Marketing Assistant. In her new role, she will join and assist Pinpoint Media’s marketing team as well as work on digital projects.

“Pinpoint Media Group does everything from web development, to designing and publishing and I felt that joining this company would be a great opportunity for me to get a deep insight into the digital world and expand my set of skills,” says Harshani.

Pinpoint Media Group welcomes Hershey Pascual

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has appointed Hershey Pascual to the role of Digital Editor. With over 18 years of experience in journalism, Hershey previously worked with Forbes Middle East as Senior Editor and most recently with Adam&Eve magazine as Online Content Editor. In her new role, she will work on Pinpoint Media Group’s digital platform across LaFemme, Good Taste, Luxury SQFT and Debonair magazines.

Manny D’jornor joins Pinpoint

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has appointed Manny D’jornor to the role of Director of Advertising Sales. With a degree in Economics and Banking from the University of Greenwich, UK, Manny has worked on Wall Street in New York City and most recently at ScribbleLive Vice President of Sales and Operations in Canada. In his new role, he will manage and oversee the advertising sales team and work towards the growth of Pinpoint Media Group in Dubai and across the region.

“Pinpoint Media Group’s growth and vision was an inspiration to me,” says Manny. “CEO Darren Hodgkin has kept true to his Modus Operandi and the vision he has set. I bring with me a diverse experience in business having worked all over the world and possess a very strong understanding of the digital world and how to leverage it within the media industry.”

Pinpoint Media Group signs media distribution deal

Dubai-based media company, Pinpoint Media Group has signed a distribution partnership agreement with Spinneys, Waitrose and WHSmith for product placement and distribution. The partnership will see Pinpoint luxury magazines Debonair, La Femme, La Femme Arabic and Luxury SqFT take prime retail space within Spinneys and Waitrose stores across the UAE as well as dedicated stands in seven WHSmith stores across the GCC.

“We are delighted to have joined forces with such a strong GCC retail partner and are excited our luxury magazines will now be available to more shoppers across the GCC,” says Darren Hodgkin, CEO, Pinpoint Media Group. “Obviously this partnership will provide our popular and well-read titles considerably greater visibility across the region, which is something we constantly strive for.”