Monday, August 20, 2018

Media Empires of Egypt : More shake ups , More layoffs

There is currently a complete reshuffle that is taking place in the Media City West of Cairo where once-successful TV channels have been shut down and once-famous TV hosts are forced to stay in their homes.
It is a reshuffle that nobody has cared to speak about or discuss or even follow. It started to happen in July during Ramadan and the World Cup.
Then as soon as the holy month ended and the World Cup was over, that media reshuffle began to began to be louder.
Azmy Meghad, Amr El-Lithy and Tamer Abdel Moneim
From Left to Right: Azmy Meghad, Amr El-Llissy and Tamer Abdel Moneim
On 27 July, Egyptian Media announced that it was restructuring ONTV Network and that it would close down ON Live, the Network News channel while launching a second sports TV channel.
In its statement about the decision, Egyptian Media said that it launched ON Sports 2 to serve the State’s policies to support youth and sports.
The Company also claimed that it saw it was best to close down ON Live giving no real or understandable reason behind that decision. “Its main audience from 25 January revolution supporters no longer watch it because their favorite stars like Liliane Daoud or even Amr Khafagy are not there and are not welcomed anymore”
That decision was accompanied with many layoffs among the network’s staff.
Unfortunately, the closure of ON Live meant for the Egyptian Media removing the channel’s archives on its YouTube channel.
I feel sad that ON Live archives documenting the 25th January revolution have been removed from YouTube.
Thankfully some friends at ONTV have got backup archives and hopefully, they will upload them once again when they are needed.
ON E, the network’s main TV channel also lost several top TV hosts above them Amr Adib who signed a new contract with Saudi-owned MBC.

Adib is going to present a new show on MBC Misr, it is unclear when but his contract allegedly made him the most expensive TV host in the Middle East.

Newly acquired Hayat Network has got its share of the reshuffle too.
Already suffering from huge financial troubles, there have been many layoffs in the network’s staff “105 employees were dismissed”in parallel with many management reshuffles as big names in TV industry like Osama El-Sheikh and Hala Serhan came in then left in no time.
Big TV hosts names like Emad Adeeb came for short time and then left.
Then in Mid July, Egyptian Media terminated the contract of famous TV host Amr El-Llissy canceling his show “One person from the people”.
 El-Llissy’s show became ridiculous hosting actors as well charlatans following his controversial interview with Tuk-tuk driver.
Currently, Al-Hayat TV network is being restructured according to the statements of Egyptian Media.
Moving to Al-Assema TV channel which Egyptian Media acquired too from Falcon’s Home Media, there is big drama happening there.
I do not know when Egyptian Media acquired Al-Assema but in May 2018 I found this news saying that current businessman and former intelligence officer Yasser Selim, the CEO of Al-Hayat TV and Al-Assema Networks denied that Egyptian Media acquired them.
During then, the general supervisor of both networks was Amr El-Llissy.

The channel made headlines when it signed a contract with former MP and controversial Tawfik Okasha to present a talk show on its screen in June.
In early July, Egyptian Media Company bought Al-Hayat TV Network and hired Selim as its vice-president.
The statement did not mention Al-Assema Network but it seems that it came along the package Egyptian Media acquired from Home Media.
Al-Assema TV is a Pro-regime channel with a populist propaganda agenda and Fox channel-alike TV hosts who support the state and hate 25 January revolution spreading polarization, bigotry and ignorance.
That agenda would continue under the new management which brought back the one and only king of populist media former MP Tawfik Okasha who is already banned by a court order from appearing on TV.
Tawfik Okasha with Yasser Selim "Photo: Selim's FB account"
Tawfik Okasha with Yasser Selim "Photo: Selim's FB account" 
Just like Al-Hayat Network, Al-Assema has been witnessing many layoffs including layoffs of their own TV host stars like Azmy Meghad, the hero of the infamous NYTimes leak. “I do not know if the word star is suitable to describe them”

Among those TV hosts, anti-25 January revolution figure and long-time Mubarak supporter TV host Tamer Abdel Moneim who did not accept how he and his crew were dismissed from the channel in “a humiliating way” according to him.
The actor-turned-into a TV host released last week on his official Facebook page a video attacking Egyptian Media vice chairman as well current Al-Assema manager or director “I do not know or understand his positionYasser Selim.

In that video, Abdel Moneim recounted how he had been with “the state” and “the army” since 25 January 2011 begging the state officials to stop “Selim”.
“ We {As the channel} were cheap while we were helping you;” Abdel Moneim said trying to remind the so-called State apparatuses how his channel was working on a low budget. I translate it literally from Arabic because that phrase went viral.

I think that we are in front of “Freudian slip”, Tamer Abdel Moneim knows he is cheap.
The angry TV host shared very interesting details about Yasser Selim with the public like that he was graduated from the Navy Academy and that he worked in the intelligence service for a very short time before leaving it and becoming a media tycoon.
The Mubarak’s supporter also claimed that Selim did not know anything about media in the same way he “Abdel Moneim” did not anything about navy.
The video was removed and Abdel Moneim’s page itself disappeared but it was shared through social media.

Last week, Tamer Abdel Moneim reported to the authorities that his social media accounts whether on Facebook or Twitter as well his Yahoo mail. He says that his accounts were hacked following his video attacking Selim.
Later Abdel Moneim uploaded the video again on YouTube channel.
He also recorded another video on Tuesday attacking Selim once again accusing him of financial corruption asserting that his problem is not with the state but rather with Selim. “It seems that he had no problem with him being financially corrupted as long as he is on air !!”
Then he managed to restore Twitter and sent a threat to Selim indirectly in a tweet that if his Facebook account and Yahoo accounts were not back then he would open “Samah’s file”. I do not know who is Samah.
The whole affair is ridiculous but when you listen Abdel Moneim speaking about how for instance the orders come above from general x or y insisting that his problem is not with the “State” but rather with “Selim”, You will know how some TV channels are being controlled.

The absence of those TV hosts like Tamer Abdel Moneim and other pro-state hosts means that whoever runs the show knows very well that TV hosts are longer can reach to the public.
It is not worth to keep them on TV screen especially with the huge financial losses for the time being.
Those faces caused huge damage to the Egyptian society with lies, ignorance and polarization.

There is another interesting thing I noticed the public in Egypt do not really care about what is happening to those channels seriously. They lost their interest to the level that makes me wonder about the true viewership of those channels.
I know that they will return back when they are needed but it is good not to see their ugly faces again on TV.


  1. Layoffs of many media people could be a good business opportunity for you. You can set training workshops for them on how to set and run their own independent/freelance media outlet, something like Egyptian Chronicles. It is better for them to do something than sitting idle and watching tv programs causing high blood pressure.

  2. The main stream media has lost credibility and weight over the past years as social media and location based applications have taken place controlling tge masses ... What's happening in Egypt is no different except for the extreme level of non professional performance, endless misleading and shallow emptiness. Nothing serious or constructive have been discussed or tackled on the media. None of our economic, social or even public problems have been discussed in a constructive manner on any media channel except religious adultery and useless subjects .. and with the banning of broadcasting the parliament sessions; we lost the comedy as well ..

    This huge building in Maspero should be emptied totally and turned into a hotel or office building and the huge investments in the media city should target foreign production opportunities as an investment platform and enough of all this useless rubbish ...

    If the sovereign authorities are controlling tge media then you may imagine how vulnerable and fragile they are ..


Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.