DRN to be scrapped in radio shake-up

The Dubai Radio Network is to be disbanded by the end of the year when its four existing stations, including Dubai 92 and Dubai Eye, are merged with the Arabian Radio Network, Campaign can reveal.

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By  Tim Addington Published  October 9, 2005

The Dubai Radio Network is to be disbanded by the end of the year when its four existing stations, including Dubai 92 and Dubai Eye, are merged with the Arabian Radio Network, Campaign can reveal. Both companies are owned by the newly-formed Arab Media Group and the merger will create a network of eight radio stations in the UAE catering for Arabic, English and Asian audiences. Each of the channels will also be rebranded with AMG’s logo, bringing them in line with plans to make the company a regional media player. Cheaton Fernandes, ARN group programme director for English language stations, said: “All of the DRN stations will be under the ARN umbrella by November. All of the stations will have new logos.” Fernandes was speaking after David Marshall, head of programming at Dubai Eye and presenter of the station’s business breakfast programme, left the company following an on-air outburst against its management and the state of the studio’s facilities. The show, which is co-hosted by Richard Dean, was cut short following the tirade on 1 October and music played in its place. Fernandes branded Marshall’s outburst as “not justifiable”, claiming there were long-running differences between him and the future direction of Dubai Eye. “There were creative differences, therefore we decided to part ways,” said Fernandes. “It is about certain programme issues that we didn’t agree upon, so therefore we decided it wasn’t going to work out. It was time for him to move on.” Sources at the talk station have told Campaign that Marshall was growing increasingly frustrated with the management team at Dubai Eye and what he saw as their lack of radio experience and commitment. The Australian, who is widely credited with turning the station around when he took over as programme director in March this year, refused to go into details about the reasons for his departure. He said: “In respect to what the radio station has said, I have no comment. “It has been a pleasure to serve the organisation and I wish them the best of luck. I look forward to contributing to the rapid development of the media in the region, as I have done for the past four years.”

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