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Trouble at ITP
ITP, a Dubai-based publishing house, confirms that a number of its titles have folded, but declined to comment on the number of staff fired since the crisis hit the media industry.
February 24, 2009 3:44 by Dana El Baltaji
Employees at Dubai-based ITP, the Middle East’s largest publishing house, claim the company has fired a number of staff this week and plans to continue downsizing. “Even writers who’ve been working here for years are being let go,” said one editor who spoke to Kipp anonymously.
Publications throughout the region have suffered losses due to dwindling advertising revenues caused by the global credit crisis, leading publishing houses in the Gulf to consider canceling or suspending titles.
“ITP continues to maintain a strong, vibrant regional publishing, events and Internet business in the Middle East and India,” wrote a company spokesperson in a statement to the press. “Today’s market reflects a number of changed priorities and conditions that bring new challenges but also, ultimately, new opportunities.”
“The company is refining its operations to ensure that it continues to meet market needs and provide value to the organizations and people it serves and remains committed to providing media that lead the way,” the statement said.
Kipp asked ITP’s public relations representative to comment on statements made by the company’s staff regarding the cancellation of publications and staff firings. Initially, the company declined to comment on market rumors, but later confirmed that a number of publications have been cancelled, namely Medical Times Middle East, Dentist Middle East, Education Times Middle East and Airport Middle East. The company declined to comment on future firings or cancellations.
Kipp is uncertain how many staff members have been fired since January 2009, and whether more titles may be at risk of folding.