Mag faces job cuts after losing licence

The publisher of Focus On (FO!), a men’s magazine that has been shut down by Dubai Media City, claims he will lose five staff and more than US$270,000 by the end of the year if the licence for the title is not reinstated.

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By  Tim Addington Published  July 3, 2005

The publisher of Focus On (FO!), a men’s magazine that has been shut down by Dubai Media City, claims he will lose five staff and more than US$270,000 by the end of the year if the licence for the title is not reinstated. Officials at DMC withdrew the licence for FO!, claiming the magazine, which featured a pull-out centrefold of a semi-naked model, had failed to stick to its “business plan”. Campaign Middle East revealed in May how the title’s publishers, ADA International, had been told off by DMC for including a revealing centrefold of 25-year-old model Faye, or “Miss May”. DMC has since pulled the plug on the magazine after just two issues. However, it denies the magazine has been censored. Iqbal Durrani, managing partner and publisher of FO!, said he was seeking an urgent meeting with DMC to discuss the issue, but added that he was not hopeful of regaining the licence. “If I lose this magazine, I am talking about a loss of one million dirhams by the end of the year,” said Durrani. “I want this magazine back. I want it back on the newsstand. I had no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings or sensitivities.” A statement from DMC said: “The recent suspension of the magazine Focus On, published by ADA International Publishing, resulted from a failure by the publisher to comply with repeated requests to conform to its own originally-submitted business plan. This business plan was for the launch of a specialised magazine for men on careers, interior decoration and lifestyle issues.” ADA International were told of DMC’s plan to suspend the magazine after its first issue and when the second issue “showed no intention of following its own business plan” a decision to suspend the title was made “reluctantly”.

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