Tell us a bit about yourself. Life and work for me is about video and television news. I have never done anything else and cannot imagine my life doing anything else. From the first day I entered a TV studio, fresh after university, I knew I had found my profession. During my early years as […]
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Life and work for me is about video and television news. I have never done anything else and cannot imagine my life doing anything else. From the first day I entered a TV studio, fresh after university, I knew I had found my profession. During my early years as a travelling journalist, it was all about adventure and finding out things on stories. In later years, once I entered a management role, it was always about doing the right thing on all levels and the success of my company.
What have been Sky News Arabias greatest milestones in 2012?
2012 was an amazing year. Its hard to believe that we received our studio building from the constructors on January 7, 2012 and went on air 24/7 on May 6, 2012. The hard work, meticulous planning and dedication of the team was key. Seeing the positive reaction to our channel since the launch has been very satisfying. I believe that in terms of quality and viewership, our biggest milestone is being ahead of our targets on all levels. I get excited when I think of all the plans and developments we have in the pipeline and the potential growth we can achieve in the days to come.
What are your plans for 2013?
Its all about growing our viewership and building on our strengths in quality reporting.
You are part of the audience rating system in the UAE. Have you seen substantial progress since your launch and where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
The ratings are on the increase and heading in the right direction and at a positive rate. Equally, the increase in use of our digital assets is even more encouraging. Were reaching out to a particular age group that will be the bigger users of digital content and the future TV news viewers. Strategically, that was our aim and gathering momentum on that front is very important for us. I also think that research in the region, no matter how accurate or not, is patchy and does not give you the full picture. For a pan-Arab channel like ours, to get a full picture in every country and to benchmark against other channels in each location, is very difficult. That is why social media and online trends are becoming a credible measure for performance.
What advice would you give yourself if you had to go back in time and revisit your teenage years?
Do less of what you enjoyed and more of what you didnt.
Who or where did you learn the most critical business lessons that you carry with you each day?
Its never a single place and more of a compilation. When youre young, you underestimate the value of experience and when you are older, you should always encourage the drive of youth. Working in different organisations in the Arab world and in the West teaches you different skills and values. That was critical in my career to be able to carry these experiences and use them in different settings.
Which department asks you for the most amount of money or requires the most investment now?
As a journalist, by DNA, I will always say the newsroom deserves the most investment all the time. Even when they dont really deserve it!
Can a news channel be profitable in the Middle East and if yes, could you share your business model?
I believe we have a sustainable business model that will take patience and hard work. I also believe that for media organisations to be credible, they should always strive for self-sufficiency, even if it takes time. That is the challenge for any media organisations in the region and we are on the right track.
Do you have any exclusive information to share with our readers at CABSAT?
We share all our exclusives on screen.