Mem­bers of staff laid off at all lev­els.

Campaign Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - By Eleanor Dickinson

UAE daily news­pa­per Khaleej Times has laid off up to 30 peo­ple as part of a com­pany re­struc­ture.

Last month more than 10 se­nior mem­bers of staff, in­clud­ing the di­rec­tor of ad­ver­tis­ing, head of sup­ple­ments and head of pe­ri­od­i­cals were told to leave with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, ac­cord­ing to sources close to the news­pa­per.

One week later, up to 10 mem­bers of the ed­i­to­rial team and eight from ad­ver­tis­ing, studio and ad­min­is­tra­tion were also dis­missed with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

Many of those asked to leave had been with the news­pa­per for more than 10 years.

A now- for­mer Khaleej Times em­ployee, who worked at the news­pa­per for more than 15 years, told

Cam­paign that staff were given no ex­pla­na­tion re­gard­ing the de­ci­sion.

“The first week it was the higher staff,” she said. “The next week there were more meet­ings and that’s when I was called into HR and asked to leave with im­me­di­ate ef­fect. We all knew what was hap­pen­ing be­cause of what hap­pened with the se­nior staff.

“No­body has any idea why they’re do­ing this. My let­ter says restruc­tur­ing. Peo­ple are say­ing it’s be­cause the com­pany is do­ing badly, but no­body re­ally knows.”

A spokesper­son for the news­pa­per said: “The ac­tiv­i­ties are in­ter­nal and aligned to the busi­ness goals of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

The Khaleej Times was founded by the Gal­adari Brothers Group in 1978 and is today the UAE’s long­est-run­ning English lan­guage news­pa­per.

It re­mains in the own­er­ship of the Gal­adari con­glom­er­ate, of which the Dubai gov­ern­ment owns 30 per cent.

It op­er­ates Clas­si­fieds, a daily tabloid-sized ad­ver­tis­ing supplement pub­lished along­side the main edi­tion, and Wknd mag­a­zine, is pub­lished on Fri­days along with the broad­sheet.

Print ad­spend is cur­rently suf­fer­ing a steep de­cline amid low oil prices, an un­cer­tain eco­nomic cli­mate and brand bud­get cuts.

ZenithOp­ti­me­dia’s March ad­spend re­port for the UAE pre­dicted that news­pa­per spend would fall by a third from $60 mil­lion in 2015 to $39 mil­lion by the end of this year. Spend is ex­pected to drop again in this area to $29 mil­lion in 2017.

Last month, daily news­pa­per 7Days an­nounced that from Jan­uary it would cut its six-day cir­cu­la­tion down to just one edi­tion a week.

Axed: long-time mem­bers of staff have been told to leave with im­me­di­ate ef­fect

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