The Content Hub launches specialist divisions

Dubai-based content creation agency, The Content Hub has launched two new specialist divisions, The Yachting Hub and The Wheel Hub. Founded by Sam Richomme who most recently worked as CEO of Lux Media Group and Damien Reid who most recently was contracted by Lux Media Group to contribute for Edgar, Altitudes and Yachts Emirates, the two divisions will offer publishers and marketers ready-to-publish content packages that can be used on all communications channels including print, web and social media. The Yachting Hub will focus completely on yachting and yachting lifestyle while The Wheel Hub will focus on motoring and automotive content.

“Between the devil and the deep blue sea, the media industry’s growing need for immediate and top quality content are at odds with the industry’s continual drop in editorial budgets,” says Sam Richomme, Founder, The Content Hub. “The Wheel Hub and The Yachting Hub caters to the needs of today’s publishers to cover all their media channels in one go, with affordable and immediate access to content produced by media professionals who are experts in their respective fields.”

Damien Reid, Founder and General Manager, The Wheel Hub continues, “The Wheel Hub represents the changing face of media and a solution for time-poor editors who in many cases are either a one-person shop, or worse still, are forced to juggle multiple titles on their own. In 90 seconds, an editor will receive long form and short form text to suit both print and online layouts, 15 to 20 images all resized and colour-corrected to suit, pic captions for every image, headlines, sub-heads and pull quotes. We even include a 60-second, Instagram-friendly video with all the hashtags for their social media. There are no contracts to sign, no chasing late payments through accounts departments and no VAT paperwork issues as the PayPal process is as simple as ordering a home-delivery meal.” 

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.”

In The Hot Seat – Joe Lipscombe

Joe Lipscombe, Content Director at Memac Ogilvy tells TMN about his current role and what he thinks about the media industry in the Middle East…

Name: Joe Lipscombe

Age: Too close to 30

From: England

Current job title: Content Director

When did you first arrive in Dubai?


Where did you work prior?

I was predominantly a freelancer from 2010 to 2012, working across a myriad of publications and websites. My favourite, oddly enough, was Cosmos (The Science of Everything, not the gossip mag), which was based in Australia. I was a cosmology correspondent writing about all things planets, stardust and interstellar explosions – you know, standard stuff!

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

I’m not sure it’s fair to summarise the Middle East media industry in one broad statement – that would be like asking, What are Americans like?” There are far too many nuances and unique differences between each market here, which is part of the reason it’s so exciting to work in a regional organisation. My first impressions of the UAE’s media industry, at least, were similar to what they are today. Like any market, there remains a very broad spectrum of talent, but given the size of the market, it’s perhaps a little more obvious here than in some other places. I think its biggest issue is the young and talented journalists of the GCC vastly outnumber the older, more experienced journalists, which means mentors and true experts are hard to come by. For every Frank Kane, Mustafa Alwari and Robert Chilton, who truly knows their way around a paper or magazine, you’ve got a swarm of really talented journalists without access to these types of people. That’s not to say we don’t have incredibly talented journalists, communicators, designers and editors in the GCC – we absolutely do, but it does mean we end up seeing them come and go in waves. Once they’ve learned all they can from this market, they try something new elsewhere.

In terms of the industry itself, the good is its resilience in the area of print. By the same token, the bad is it has struggled to really announce itself in the digital area.

Has your opinion changed much?

That’s probably my general opinion (I’m struggling to remember my real first impressions).

Tell us about your current role…

My role is super fun. My partner, mentor and good friend Sami Moutran, the Director of Memac Ogilvy (MO), came to me with a vision of building a content studio that lives inside MO PR. When the digital world sprang to life, and platforms that allowed everyone to become broadcasters became the norm, reaching people through public relations completely changed. The goal of PR has always remained the same, but the methods needed to achieve it have matured. With that in mind, we needed to evolve slightly and begin offering new services at a higher quality. So we began building the content team, which is my baby, essentially. We focused on hiring people with more specialised backgrounds in writing, creation and production. Then, we placed it into the workflow process alongside our client servicing team, Voilà!

What challenges do you face?

Nothing extraordinarily different to anyone else in the region. As an agency there are some common challenges, and then some not-so common challenges you can’t predict. The three day-to-day challenges I face are making the most of our resources, trying to provide the best value for our clients and maintaining the high standards set by Memac Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) across the region (and Ogilvy globally).

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I could be quite predictable here and say when you see the impact your work has on people’s lives. Some of the stuff MO has done in the last two years has been truly transformational for people all around the world, from globally recognised campaigns such as UN Women’s Autocomplete Truth, to locally important ones such as RTA’s Back-Off Radio. But for me, I’m an ideas man, and to this day the most rewarding part of my job is sparring with my colleagues on new creative ideas. I especially enjoy being part of the creative process with people from other disciplines outside of PR, too. We’re a fully integrated agency, so we work closely with our activations and experiential partner, Geometry Global, as well as the digital marketing and advertising teams from Ogilvy One and O&M. So, you’re always working with talented people from different backgrounds, and with different skills, which means you’re always learning. The final rewarding part is travelling around the region and meeting clients and colleagues from other countries. Mark Jackson, Regional Head of Technology at MO and I recently ran a regional workshop on storytelling, which gave me the opportunity to meet people in other offices, and see what they’re up to. It’s incredibly beneficial (especially for someone without a communications or marketing background).

How would you rather be contacted at work?

Carrier pigeon would be cool or a puppy with a note.

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

I’m a consumer first. So like any consumer, some things I love, some things I hate. I’m a huge fan of Edgar magazine, I think Robert Chilton, Editor-in-Chief of Edgar, has done an excellent job over there. Living in the labyrinth of glossy magazines in the UAE, you can really see the difference between the pretentious and the good. Edgar is an audience-first publication, which I like. Otherwise, though it’s biased to say, I still love picking up Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East purely because of its art. Steven Castelluccia, Art Director of Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East, is without a shadow of a doubt the best Art Director in the country today, which is why his covers appear everywhere from Cover Junkie to Adweek. He’s a genius!

What role has the rise of digital media played when it comes to content creation in the UAE’s media industry?

The digital space has influenced change in every aspect of content creation, from how you create it, where you put it, when you put it there and how you then analyse its performance. The biggest change the digital era has given us is that of consumer behaviour. We put it this way, the consumer used to be a dog. You could generally feed it what you wanted, when you wanted, and it would be very happy and loyal in return. Today, as consumers, we’re more like cats. Everyone thinks it can tame a cat, but in reality they don’t answer to anyone. Their loyalty can’t be easily bought, and they are as fussy as you can imagine. Therefore, we have to totally change the way we approach content creation. We have to use a number of methods to find out exactly what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Then we have to create something that’s as compelling as absolutely anything else available online. Because today, you’re not just competing with your industry rivals, you’re also competing with House of Cards, Game of Thrones, cats playing piano and anything else that lives in the same space as your content. That’s what digital has done, it’s created a level playing field for universal content wars. It’s actually awesome.

Have cultural differences in the UAE played a role in its media industry versus other regions?

Only in a good way. My Arabic Content Manager teaches me so much about the delicacies of the Arabic language, and my Regional Director, Saada Hammad, teaches me so much about building relationships in the Arab world. We have rising stars from Canada, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and pretty much anywhere else, so we are blessed with an ever-relevant point of view on the industry.

How has digital media changed the relationship between the PR and media industry?

Well, there’s a question that could open up a can of worms. Both professions are working their way around new ways of operating in the digital space, so the collaboration between the two is changing as a result. I think we’re getting there.

Describe yourself in five words…

I wouldn’t dare. Better to ask my boss.

What’s your most overused saying?

“Is it lunchtime?” probably. Tied with “I disagree”.

Five things you can’t live without?

Radiohead, a tennis racquet, cat videos, vino (can I say that?), trolling jargon-lovers on LinkedIn.

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

With my instant likeability and good looks? An influencer, obviously.

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

Documentaries. My dream has always been to make documentaries. So much so, our cat is named after Louis Theroux, Louis Theroux Lipscombe The Cat, to be exact!

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

If I knew that, I’d be a millionaire.

Mojeh Men welcomes new Managing Editor

Peter Iantorno has joined MOJEH Men as Managing Editor. With over four years of experience in journalism, Peter most recently worked as Features Editor for EDGAR and, where he contributed to both print and online platforms, focusing on the successful launch of As Managing Editor, he will be leading both print and online products for MOJEH Men, helping to build the magazine’s brand in the region.

“While I have loved every minute of my time with EDGAR and am sad to be leaving, I am thrilled to be joining MOJEH Men at what is a hugely exciting time for the brand,” says Peter. “I can’t wait to get going.”

EDGAR welcomes new Editor-in-Chief

Rob Chilton has joined EDGAR magazine, a LuxMedia publication, as Editor-in-Chief. Most recently Senior Editor at What’s On, Rob has worked in print and broadcast journalism for over 20 years in London, New York and Dubai. As Editor-in-Chief, he will lead the EDGAR team in producing the monthly luxury lifestyle title for men, as well as contributing to the magazine’s brand development, both online and in print. In addition, Rob will begin a new slot on Dubai Eye later this month as part of his new role with EDGAR.

“I have loved every minute of my time at What’s On,” says Rob. “The creativity, hard work and energy of the What’s On crew has been outstanding and I have huge admiration for them. I am sad to leave but extremely excited to join EDGAR, a magazine of which I am a big fan. I can’t wait to start working with the talented folk at EDGAR, both in print and online at”

Esquire appoints new Executive Editor

Former Editor-in-Chief of EDGAR, Matthew Priest, has joined Esquire Middle East as Executive Editor. While working with EDGAR, Matthew contributed greatly to the growth of the magazine brand in the region, as well as the launch of He brings over seven years of experience in journalism and editing to his new role, where he will be working across the print products, leading the digital editions of the magazine as well special projects, helping to drive the brand’s 360-degree vision.

Peter Iantorno joins EDGAR

Former Sub-Editor at Gulf News Magazines, Peter Iantorno has joined EDGAR as Features Editor. In his previous position, Peter worked across six titles including alpha., WatchTime and Wheels, and in his new role, he will be working alongside the Online Editor and Editor-in-Chief on the publication’s newly launched website,

“I’m absolutely delighted to have joined the EDGAR team, and I’m thrilled to be working on such an exciting project as,” says Peter. “The website has massive potential to succeed, and that’s one of the reasons why I was so keen to come aboard.”