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Gulf News Media to cease broadcast operations

Gulf News Media to cease broadcast operations

Staff left facing an uncertain future as frequency licence holder reclaims the brands

Gulf News Media is to close its two remaining radio stations.

Only three months after it closed Radio 1 and 2 the broadcaster will shut down Josh and Hayat as well and hand over operations to Umm Al Quwainn Broadcasting Network on September 30.

A statement issued on Thursday evening by group marketing director Matthew Moore said: “Following a strategic review of our operations GN Media have made the decision to exit the broadcasting sector.

“As a result of this decision the broadcast radio stations Josh and Hayat will close and GN Media will no longer manage the radio stations Josh on Frequency 97.8 & Hayat on Frequency 95.6 and will handover the management of these stations to Umm Al Quwain Broadcasting Network. This decision is effective from 30th September 2016.

“Gulf News Media would like to thank all its employees, advertising partners and supporters for their contribution, effort and commitment to our broadcasting division and the Josh and Hayat stations.”

It is unclear what will happen to the station’s staff.

Gulf News Broadcasting announced it was closing down Radio 1 and Radio 2 in June after licence holders Abu Dhabi Media reclaimed the stations’ frequencies.

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, who plan to relaunch the channels with a “new look and feel”.

Speaking earlier 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.”

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