United Arab Emirates radio stations Radio 1 and Radio 2 have laid off their entire staff after Abu Dhabi Media withdrew the frequency licences, sources close to the broadcaster have claimed.
Staff at Gulf News Broadcasting have been pulled into meetings today to be informed of the news that both stations will be closed, after frequency owner ADM reportedly withdrew the licenses..
It is understood that the job cuts will affect between 25 and 30 people and will be implemented immediately. Affected staff members will be given up to three months’ salary, it has been said.
The news follows a change of management at the broadcasting house of GN Media; Steve Pulley was appointed as broadcasting director and Will McMichael as head of Advertising in February this year.
GNB issued the following statement today: “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.
“No further comment will be made.”
Listeners complained last week that the stations were off-air, with some claiming an Abu Dhabi classical music station was playing instead after a music loop was implemented to fill the void of DJ talks and advertising.
The stations’ online streaming service are now off-air, with both Radio One and Radio Two’s websites carrying only the statement that showed on GN Broadcasting’s site.
The stations’ Facebook and Twitter pages are also down, with a message reading: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”
The job losses follow a wave of redundancies at GN Media earlier this year, when 50 people were let go from GNB and its newspaper Gulf News.
Updates to follow.