New Deputy Editor at A&E Magazine

Lindsay Judge has joined fashion and lifestyle title A&E Magazine as Deputy Editor. Having previously worked as Fashion & Beauty Editor at Gulf News since November 2014, and as Fashion & Beauty Editor at Ahlan! Magazine, part of ITP Publishing before that, Lindsay brings a wealth of experience. Lindsay will work alongside Editor-in-Chief Lara Mansour Sawaya compiling features and fashion shoots for the monthly title.

“I’m so excited to be joining the A&E team and really excited to pursue my career further into the world of luxury fashion,” says Lindsay. “I look forward to being part of putting together this beautiful magazine each month.”

Gavin Gibbon joins Shamal Communications

Dubai-based independent and full service agency, Shamal Communications has appointed Gavin Gibbon to the role of Senior Account Manager following the agency’s expansion and rebrand. With over 17 years of experience in journalism, PR and real estate, Gavin previously worked with ITP Media Group as Editor of Construction Week Online, OSN as PR Editor and most recently with Core Savills as PR and Communications Manager. In his new role, he will oversee all PR operations and work across the agency’s portfolio of clients across the region.

“Having worked with Shamal Communications during my time at ITP my decision to come on board was an easy one,” says Gavin. “The agency has an incredibly strong client base, with a passion to serve them well and foster good relationships with the media. Their ambitions also match my own and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

In The Hot Seat – Crystal Chesters

Crystal Chesters, Group Editor for Hospitality titles at BNC Publishing tells TMN about her current role and what she thinks about the media industry in the Middle East…

Name: Crystal Chesters

Age: 30

From: Scotland

Current job title: Group Editor for Hospitality titles at BNC Publishing

When did you first arrive in Dubai?

November 2013

Where did you work prior?

Prior to arriving in Dubai I worked for VisitScotland looking after stakeholder communications and producing its publications for the tourism industry. I later moved to Dubai, where I worked as Editor of Hotelier Middle East at ITP Publishing before joining BNC Publishing.

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

It’s very fast-paced with small teams looking after large workloads.

Has your opinion changed much?

Not really, but now I’m used to it!

Tell us about your current role…

I oversee BNC Publishing’s hospitality portfolio, which comprises of the events, publications and digital activity of Catering News Middle East and Hotel News Middle East. I am also still the Editor of Catering News Middle East, a role I’ve been doing since January, 2016.

What challenges do you face?

I’d say the biggest challenge of my role is juggling a wide range of responsibilities – from social media to events and awards and of course the monthly magazines. In addition, dealing with a huge volume of emails with interview pitches, events, meeting requests and press releases is time consuming and can be stressful. However, this is part of my role and it’s important to be organised to stay on top of it all.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting to try out the latest restaurant openings and travelling to different countries on press trips.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

By email – phone calls can be intrusive, particularly during deadline week. Whatsapp is even more intrusive, unless I know the contact already and that relationship has already been established.

What do you think of publications in the region?

I’d say overall the quality is lower than in more established markets like the United States and Europe. If you look at the teams on international titles here they are far smaller than the teams you’d find in London or New York and with the current economic climate, resources continue to be stretched and this, of course, has an impact on quality. That said, the Middle East is a very young and developing market when it comes to publishing and there are some great titles doing well in the region.

How has print media managed to stay relevant in today’s digital community?

I think it’s currently still relevant, particularly when it comes to B2B magazines. That said, publishing companies are being forced to diversify and move quickly into the digital age to keep up. I think challenging times lie ahead but there will always be a need for quality journalism.

What do you think of media ethics in the region?

I think it’s challenging. You’ve got to be careful when talking about anything culturally sensitive and the defamation laws are very different to what we’re used to in the UK. Working for trade magazines, it’s not a huge issue, but for those journalists working on newspapers I imagine it can be challenging.

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

It’s really important, you’ve got to push content on social media as a lot of your web traffic will come from this. All of our magazines have digital editions and every feature gets published online and in our newsletters, which go out to a large database.

Describe yourself in five words…

Adventurous, kind, open-minded, tenacious and forgetful.

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

Going on a press trip to New York. It was my first time there and I went to see the new Element brand from Starwood.

What’s your most overused saying?

At the end of the day…

Five things you can’t live without?

At the moment, my daily flat white from Costa, The Salad Jar, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, Kerastase shampoo and Bojack Horseman.

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

I’d be a painter if someone would pay me to do that.

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

Does Netflix count?

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

I think it will get harder for the newspaper industry in particular and we could see more closures and redundancies across the region. I think both newspapers and magazines will continue to diversify into digital and video.

Plan b welcomes Samer Alloush

Dubai-based marketing and events company, Plan b has appointed Samer Alloush to the role of Business Development Manager – Events. With over 11 years of experience in the media industry, Samer previously worked at ITP Media Group as Senior Sales Manager across titles Refining & Petrochemicals ME, Oil & Gas ME, Utilities ME as well as Oil & Gas Al Arabiya before joining APP Publishing, to work on OK! Middle East. In his most recent position as Senior Sales Manager at The Week, part of Motivate Publishing, he focused on selling advertising space along with events sponsorship.

At Plan B, he will work closely with the event management team and clients to increase market share and revenue within government and corporate organisations, as well as develop proposals, quotations and negotiate terms to secure sales opportunities.

“All I can say is that I am very excited and pleased to join Plan b,” says Samer. “It was a huge challenge for me to get into the events industry, but joining Plan b has been an amazing educational experience with a lot of diversity that will definitely add great value to my career.”


Chee Smith goes freelance

Chee Smith, former Fashion and Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan Middle East, has gone freelance. With over 20 years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, Chee previously worked at VIVA magazine as the Fashion and Beauty Director before joining the Cosmopolitan Middle East launch team in February, 2011. She will continue to work across the fashion and beauty sector as a freelance fashion stylist and editor.

“Although I’m sad to leave Cosmopolitan Middle East, I’m really excited to go freelance and work on new projects,” says Chee. “I’m looking forward to new challenges and working on a variety of jobs within editorial, advertising and events.”

DIFF announces official fashion partner

Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, part of ITP Publishing Group, has partnered with Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) as the festival’s official fashion partner. Located in Madinat Jumeirah, the ‘Bazaar Best Dressed Studio’ will invite the most stylish attendees of DIFF 2016 to be photographed for a dedicated online gallery and an exclusive supplement that will be included in the magazine’s January 2017 issue. Taking place from December 7-14, highlights of the festival and partnership will be shared across the publication’s social media platforms and will feature in an online film showcasing the week’s most stylish moments.

Arab Woman Awards UAE 2016 pays special tribute

The Arab Woman Awards UAE 2016 is set to take place on Saturday, December 10, 2016 in Sharjah in honour of the late Vice-chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, Ameera BinKaram. The private event will include an exclusive video of Ameera as a special tribute from the establishment itself. The awards will also focus on raising public awareness of the significant achievements by Arab women and to provide young women with inspirational role models.

“Like everyone we were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Ameera BinKaram,” says Sue Holt, Executive Director, ITP Publishing. “Ameera was a previous Arab Woman Award winner, who then became the chair of our judges’ board. She was an amazing and passionate person, who celebrated the successes of women from across the region. It is with great pride that we are taking this year’s award ceremony to Sharjah as a sign of respect and to honour her significant contributions.”

Grazia Middle East goes live

Women’s weekly publication, Grazia Middle East, part of ITP Publishing Group will be going live at Dubai Festival City from November 4 – 12, 2016. The editorial team will host a week-long event at the mall, giving visitors an opportunity to experience the different elements of magazine creation for their special live issue.

“This partnership with Grazia is ground-breaking, as for the first time ever we are allowing readers, fans and visitors the chance to be a part of the production of one of their favourite magazines,” says Steven Cleaver, Director, Festival City Shopping Malls. “We believe that Festival City is more than just a shopping destination – we are leading from the front by giving people the chance to have unique experiences and create lasting memories. We are delighted to showcase the mall’s new fashion offering and are very much looking forward to seeing the result.”

Alison Tay, Editor-in-Chief, Grazia Middle East adds, “I’m so excited we’re launching such a pioneering event for the region through the Grazia Middle East brand. As well as bringing together the region’s best-loved influencers and experts in the fields of fashion, beauty and lifestyle, visitors will be able watch the magazine come to life, alongside our exclusive cover star Alanoud Badr. And for the first time ever in the Middle East, readers will be able to vote their preferred Grazia cover. We can’t wait to see everyone there.”

Daniel Higgins joins ITP

ITP Publishing Group has welcomed Daniel Higgins to the role of Fashion Editor of Esquire Middle East. With experience in writing and styling, Daniel previously worked with The Telegraph, D’Marge and Recognise magazine in the UK and most recently Head of the Luxury and Style division for clients including; Caprice Holdings and Harry’s of London. In his new role, he will be overseeing all style content for the print, digital and event Esquire Middle East platforms as well as the Big Black Book.

Masala! Appoints Fashion and Beauty Editor

Aishwarya Tyagi has joined ITP Publishing as Fashion and Beauty Editor for Masala!. Previously Picture Editor and Writer at Grazia Middle East and most recently Editorial Assistant at Mojeh magazine, Aishawarya has over six years of PR and journalism experience which she will bring to her new role. As Fashion and Beauty Editor, she will be responsible for the fashion and beauty, as well as lifestyle features including; travel, food and society.