Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bad Time for Media in Egypt

It seems that the economic  crisis and its deadly effect on the media began to reach to Egypt.

It seems that Naguib Sawiris may close his TV channels after their losses. Naguib owns “OTV Egypt”* and newly “ON TV”.

News Reports are saying that there are layoffs in both channels and that Sawiris tried to sell his “ON TV” channel for the highest price available , in fact I read in Rosa Al Youssef Daily yesterday that he tried to sell “OTV” to Mohamed Dahlan , yes corrupted Dahlan of Fatah !!?? But the deal did not work because Dahlan wanted to change “ON TV” to become 100% Palestinian channel ,where as Sawiris wanted to it to remain Egyptian. Some rumours are saying that Sawiris may enter a joint venture with Dahlan to save the channel. Either ways it is interesting to See Dahlan having all that money !!?? Where does this money come from Mr. Dahlan ??

Anyhow back to Sawiris TV dream that has not come true, Sawiris was dreaming of having a TV network , already he was from the founders of Melody TV before having a nasty fight with Gamal Marwan over the money and he decided to open his own network starting with “OTV”.

“OTV” Channel was famous for its controversial policies like not editing the  racy scenes in the foreign films or the insistence on reading the “eye on the news” segment  by the Egyptian dialect and not using the classical Arabic language,already I do not imagine if they were allowed to have a real news segment !!!

“ON TV” contrary to “OTV” is more serious channel, it represents the  the Neo-Liberals or Neo-Secular in Egypt , I do not have a high opinion about it to be honest. I am not surprised that it has not achieved success up till now.

I expect that “OTV” would  be on the same track like “ON TV” , “OTV” is facing a tough competition in the Egyptian Media from channels like “Dream TV”, “Mehwar” and “Al Hayat” not to mention the State owned “NTN”. The fact that Sawiris wanted “OTV” an A Class Channel did not help OTV at all , it harmed them. After all the High class youth do not watch the local TV Channels in the first place.

I know that the conservatives in Egypt will be so happy to hear this news with their calls to boycott the channel from time to time.

Now we leave Sawiris and his “O” TV that did not come true to more sadder news ; leftist newspaper El-Badeel is facing a bad time and it may have to close because of financial problems :(

Look I am not a leftist but I like El-Badeel and I believe it is from the best newspapers in Egypt right now , at least they have excellent reporters and investigation reporting, in the last couple of months they revealed very important scandals like for instance the trade organs scandal. I am sad , I wish  some how this newspaper finds a way to survive in this terrible economic situation insh Allah. I know if this newspaper closes, the state owned newspapers will be very happy.

BY way the General Prosecutor in Egypt decided to investigate some financial corruption scandal in Al Tahrir publishing house . State owned Al Tahrir publishes Al Gomhouria and Al Mesaa.

Links :

*There is another “OTV” in Lebanon which is affiliated with the free Patriotic movement there.


  1. sad news, btw why you didn't write about this:

  2. Well Bastawisi, may be because I have not heard about this news except now from the link you post, thank you
    This is a strange incident for sure because I do not find any motive for anyone to attack the metro and the citizens who are using it

  3. Looks like Mr. Sawiris' 15 minutes of fame is up.

    I don't know what the hell he was trying to do with that channel anyway, I have always found his motives a bit questionable.

    It's funny how he claims he wants to fix the country, but the moment his business starts to fall apart the first person he calls for help is the leader of Fatah, how ironic is that!

    This sort of confirms my doubts about him, that he's just another opportunist who would sell his own mother if it would suit his interests.

  4. @Banoota , strangely he could really make his channels succeed if he were wise in choosing those who can operate the channels , those who have experience but instead he goes to some people who have not enough experience as a channel managers and appoint them ,this is from the inside kitchen of media , why is it strange ?? because a man like him have enough money to build better channels
    I am not speaking his motives and intentions but Hassan Ratab is a NDPian yet Al Mehawer have much higher viewership
    again I can't understand him
    I do not know about opportunist but he makes strange decisions
    He claims and speaks as he wants , still he knows that people won't believe him easily because he is a businessman

  5. Very interesting information and insights Zeinobia. Thanks.

  6. Sawiris id doing what any other business man would do, given his circumstances.


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