The magazine death toll
Forbes Arabia is the latest magazine in the region to face the axe as its publisher, the DIT Group closes down. Here’s a rough list for who’s already down and out.
April 20, 2009 4:43 by Aarti Nagraj
Forbes Arabia is the latest Dubai-based magazine to face the axe. Local publisher DIT Group is to shut up shop, taking with it Forbes Arabia, PC Magazine (in English and Arabic), and Arabian Reseller. The publisher has already closed down one of its magazines, Your Business, a couple of months ago.
Rumaiz Mohideen, the head of finance and business process told Communicate magazine that the publisher will close the magazines “very soon,” with the loss of around 40 jobs. He said the
main reason for the closure is the corporate direction of DIT’s Saudi Arabian parent company, the Dabbagh Group. Dabbagh has interests including food and agriculture, real estate and telecoms, and has elected to “lose its alliance with the publishing business,” he said.
According to a recent report in The Financial Times, the number of publications in the Middle East had almost doubled in the past three years to reach 1,800 by the end of last year. But thanks to the economic slowdown, that number has already started going down.
While it is impossible to get the complete list of all the magazines closed down in the region, at least 40 have suspended or discontinued according to Media Source, which brings out an annual media directory for the MENA region. The list includes 13 magazines from ITP, supplements from Gulf News and Khaleej Times, and two titles from Saudi Arabia.
Ben Smalley, the editor of the Middle East & North Africa Media Guide, clarifies that this is not a comprehensive list, and adds that the number may increase. “It is hard to predict when the advertising market will pick up again. Most publications in this region are entirely dependent on advertising for revenue. So while advertisers aren’t spending, times are going to be tough for publishers.”
However, sources within the industry tell us that this is a very conservative number, and that more than 100 magazines may have already shut shop in Dubai itself.
We have requested Dubai Media City to provide us a list of magazines which have been closed down within the free zone, and are still waiting to hear from them.
Click here for the list from Media Source.