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Abu Dhabi Media Group to relaunch Radios 1 and 2

Abu Dhabi Media Group to relaunch Radios 1 and 2

Former Gulf News Broadcasting staff ‘invited to apply’ for new positions

Radio 1 and Radio 2 are to return to the airwaves in September three months after Gulf News Broadcasting was forced to close the stations down when it lost the frequency licences.

The United Arab Emirates stations will be relaunched by the licence holders Abu Dhabi Media Company with the same formats, but “with a new look and feel”, Gulf Business has learnt.

Up to 30 members of GNB staff lost their jobs following the stations’ closures, but have since been invited to re-apply for their positions by ADM.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: UAE’s Radio 1 and Radio 2 close, entire workforce laid off – source

Speaking to Gulf Business, Abdulwahed Juma, chief commercial officer at ADM said: “We know the brand value of Radio 1 and 2. We are not willing to kill it. We are not willing to change the format. But it will come with a new look and feel and an enhanced online platform and a new brand confidence.

“[The new stations] will be a mix of new staff and the old staff. We are open to all the people who lost their own jobs to apply, but also we will inject it with some new team members.”

Asked why ADM had withdrawn the licenses from GNB, Juma added: “Radio 1 and Radio 2 have always been the brands of Abu Dhabi Media since the beginning and we lease them. After each period of the contact, which is after five years, we negotiate them, and that reflects the strength of the brand and the market conditions. In the first five years a mutual agreement was reached so the contract was renewed. The second five years, it happened again but the parties did not agree so the contract was not renewed.

“I don’t think [it was because the fee was too high], I just think that whatever cost that was suggested was a reflection of the market dynamics and that radio is a medium that is still growing. It’s not taking hits like newspapers and taking in revenues.”

GNB issued the following statement at the time of the closure: “Gulf News Broadcasting LLC is today announcing that with immediate effect it will no longer be managing the Radio One & Radio Two stations.

“This is as a result of unforeseen circumstances, which are beyond the control of Gulf News Broadcasting LLC.

“Gulf News Broadcasting LLC would like to thank all its employees, advertising partners and supporters for their contribution, effort and commitment for the successful management of Radio One & Radio Two stations over the last 10 years.

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