I am a loss as to find any more news on this issue, other than what I read on Arabian Biz.  So the question is, where did they get their information from?  I have a few loyal and trusty ears and eyes within the Ministry and there was no hint of this in the wind leading up to this announcement.  Has this ‘really’ been thought through?

There is such a huge misconception and indeed perception to the contrary that there are ‘qualified’ broadcasters of standing within the local media. There are a few nice voices if you like, but there are no characters, no real professionals and how can there be?  Despite whatever the existing media says, there is no such thing as ‘free media’ in the entire Islamic world, never mind the Gulf itself.  There just cannot be because to have such talent, one needs to be a free spirit and  the culture is not ready to hear alternative thought as such.  Those that do realize the poor showing cannot come up against the masses, so just give up. By doing so, we have a vicious circle spiraling into the abyss.

Since it all began, it was just lip service. there has really been no understanding of the art, thus no progress, no respect or discerning the principal in the first place.  Besides, those above who are put in a position of power or management have no real notion of broadcast media or the arts either for that matter.  Nice people maybe, good friends of mine to say the least, but it is all smoke blowing and say the right thing.  National pride and the desire to believe that everything local is professional and sound (no pun intended) goes without saying, but we all know really that this is delusion personified.

Some come and they quickly go.  For most the eviction was not of their choice.  Others are removed because of intimidation, whereby they literally make monkeys of the talent-less offerings sitting beside them and so easily and willingly put in place.  For a few others, they take one look and say; ‘Sod this’.

Nobody gets trained in the art, nobody cares, nobody perceives the industry as a profession which requires qualification.  Even then, the qualification is intangible.

So here they go, a commercial dream for some, one might think.  After all, MBC has had such outrageous privilege for years now, being the ‘ONLY ONES’ given rights to broadcast commercially regionally. That in itself is the epitome of ignorance of the profession. Just as Group Plus were given the status of a Monopoly running a Monopoly.  They have NEVER paid a single penny in royalties, to the artists who make the platform possible and attract the listeners for their advertising to be heard.  It is ludicrous really.

Orbit Showtime, or OSN are prime examples of the notion that there must be money to be made in media.  So get a monopoly and coin it.  OSN to my knowledge has NEVER put a cent back into the industry.  They have never nurtured the art of which feeds them. So what can we expect?

Until I get more details, I can only post here what I did on Face Book and perhaps some of the comments returned as I go.  So far, nobody really cares.



(From Face Book)
Geg:  Seemingly not widely reported (I’d hate to stab at the bureaucracy behind the silence)..

Bahrain is opening up a Gulf Wide Radio Station on ‘analogue’ FM. Cough, splutter, cringe.. convulse! Relay frequencies all round. Kuwait reported to be supplying ‘English language programming; to fill content. (Severe Cough!!! Must have been that bloke sitting next to me on the plane).
Now, most of you probably don’t know, and even fewer remotely care, but the UAE and a few others have long had transmission dispensation from Bahrain, so why not a little reciprocity, but we all know that is not the reason…don’t we??? DON’T WE????

Now let me think of a list of highly professional, extremely competent, positively capable, rivetingly interesting, instantly engaging talent to host such a broadcast, along with a management team possessing a dynamic, creative and strikingly perceptive insight. Um… er…. ah… no wait.. hang on… I am thinking…. oh. oh.. no no.. give me more time.. a millennium at least………. Help!! I’m sure we can eventually think of some-ONE!!!!

Phil Blizzard Analogue Fm … Mmh …. As for programming my sources on the ground, not Ashish Joshi, report the language to be spoken is Khaleeji ..sorry to add that into your conundrum Geg

Geg Hopkins Phil……….. This is quite correct as far as I understand it, but little publicity so far. My spies and informants missed it completely. I really am only hearing snips like you I guess. 
One assumes the ‘talent’ (where is all this loud coughing coming from?), will be a mish-mash of bods from all over the Gulf. (Can anyone remember Emirates FM way back with all the ‘voice variety’, from Morocco to Iraq, but so little Khaleeji -also broadcast from Bahrain). Anyway, tiz all a bit mysterious. 

The principal is a ‘commercial’ dream opportunity come true, (even if only FM still) but I cannot see it setting any standards or indeed succeeding, but let’s see. So who came up with the idea other than a ‘sectarian’ approach disguised as ‘political’? 

For a start, it is an extremely amateur notion (and so frequently perceived as ‘creative’ within non entity Advertising Agencies) that ‘Khaleeji’ is stunningly innovative. I don’t believe it will work as even within, each is ultra – ultra- ultra critical of their own dialect. To most, it will be like hearing your own recorded voice for the first time as you look in the mirror.

I am also at a loss as to why it was reported that Kuwait will supply ‘English’ programming. Perhaps they want a Radio Sawa approach. Better if so…. then we will not have stumbling inanity which is so currently prevalent. However, The iPod, mobile phone, 4G, blah blah blah challenge for non stop music epitomizes the utterly inane, stifled perceptions even more. Pleasantly surprise me by all means.
Paul Stephen Bob Robert McCreadie Adrian Ross Mike Knowlton Ocean & me, Paul Stephen! Job done! And my guess is we’d be there in a flash! But, analogue? Why?
Geg Hopkins Well Paul……….. As GB posted above ‘ a conundrum’.. which at first went over my head… and Mark the lark didn’t pick it up either. …. Tiz a Fisher daily cliché… ‘The conundrum’, yet you don’t mention him of near 40 years of precise recipe.Sadly, (if you read all comments) you will discern that the station will be nothing of the sort. Never Ever – Ever Never! 

By the way, there is an EXCELLENT station (music wise) called ‘The Breeze” I believe. Seems to cover a very wide area digitally… Across South Wales, North Devon, Somerset, Avon, Gloucester and even up as far as Wiltshire in places – or I could get it up as far as Swindon. Plays all the melodic hits of the musical years. No inane crap rap or airy fairy writhe grind – give it to me hard Winston – stuff. DJ’s a bit safe poly-filler, but all well spoken flowing, so very very pleasant to listen to while cruising the M5/M4… The old hat ‘Where in the world’ game for a fat wad was a bit trying but hey… back to basics and good.


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