DIALECTS AND ACCENTS – ‘ERE LISSUN DAWLIN’

Since Internet broadband speeds reached MP3 levels, Radio in many places has lost its way completely, plus of course, to talk about music all the time as the be all and end of the station’s output, masks or attempts to make excuses for the pathetic talent, or lack of, we see presenting it. Get over it!  Radio stations no longer have the music monopoly and why should an enthusiast wade through hours of pap listening for something he or she might like, when all is available at a click. So really, presentation is everything, but so few realize it, even argue against it. It is not only in the Middle East where this cache of mediocrity reigns supreme, half of Britain is pretty dire and obviously these presenters cannot hear themselves for no matter how many years in the business they never change or improve and they keep on turning up. If you are one of these deluded stars reading this right now, don’t worry, because you will not assume I am talking about you since most could never believe they are awful and just like me, go on and on and on as to how great we believe we are, reeling off time checks and station clichés between every three records. Read more

FUJEIRA MEDIA & FORMER VIRGIN HOPEFUL

July 2007 – Pro Audio Magazine
Virgin Atlantic obtaining rights to fly in and out of Dubai and Sir Richard himself making the all important personal appearance, immediately prompted a flurry of interest in anything else Virgin. In the case of the newly established Fujeirah Media with their license to open two FM stations out of the Emirate, it was more an egg before the chicken affair and ostensibly the idea of Mango Media Chairman Mekki Mahmoud Abdulla. By now a credible radio consultant, Abdulla was summoned and infrastructure started appearing with ideas on how to brand the English station. An approach was made to Virgin Radio UK, but this was the wrong camp as Abdulla found out and promptly set off in the other direction out to Singapore and Virgin Radio International. Abdulla has a real story to tell as far as Gulf radio is concerned having been instrumental in the establishment of many stations throughout the UAE and now owns Mango FM in Sudan. Born in Sudan to a Sudanese father and a British Mother, Abdulla now ‘sort of’ hails from Carnforth in Lancaster where he studied mass communications at Lancaster University. He even speaks with a Lancaster accent, mixed up with some Arabic overtones. Dividing his time between Dubai, Sudan and the UK, Abdulla quips: ‘I don’t know where I am from anymore.’ His primary desire was a job in media, but bizarrely started out selling exotic fruits in England way back at the turn of the decade in 1990, when he heard a radio spot advertising for salesmen.  In 1992 he joined ‘The Bay’ FM and got the bug, explaining: ‘I had a great Managing Director by the name of Julian Allitt, a man with a vision about radio and he spent a lot of money on training me using American trainers and he was very serious about his business.’ Taking the position of Sales Director, Abdulla started to think about where he could start a radio station other than the UK, which compared to the Middle East was so much more expensive. Having done some sales work with Abu Dhabi Television prior to his move to UK, Abdulla knew the UAE well and was discerning about the advances taking place in the Emirate. Squeezing not only his time, but also his credit card limit, Abdulla traveled back and forth from the UK to Dubai every weekend, sniffing out opportunity without much initial success.
One tedious venture that led to great disappointment Read more

IS THERE A VIRGIN IN DUBAI?

The following article was penned July 2006 and destined for Pro Audio Middle East and Asia
The intrigue deepens as we go to press and by all accounts there is a possibility, although not exactly strong, that a Virgin Radio will hit the Dubai airways later this year. A pure Virgin seems unlikely but the twists and turns in this saga is akin to what happens in the Bermuda Triangle or why Sir Paul McCartney or U2 are musically so popular. Mysterious Rumours abound in a nearby Kingdom as well, that Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, he of Two Seas Records and Two Seas Studio fame, along with being Michael Jackson’s ex best friend, had talks with Virgin International. Those rumours are far from substantiated despite several enquiries made. Talk of the Ajman based Channel 4 FM approach fizzled out without any real credence or impetus, but there is still one serious contender flicking through the pros and cons of taking a Virgin on.  However, it is extremely unclear as to who is actually approaching who in this quagmire. The impression given is that Virgin is being approached rather than Virgin testing the water by initiating the contacts, although both scenarios appear to be the case.
Of course, the name Virgin is synonymous with Sir Richard Branson but he no longer owns Virgin Radio UK, but retains rights to the name and cleverly utilizes it with extreme judgment at every opportunity with astounding results. The Scottish Media Group Plc actually own Virgin Radio UK and is nothing to do with Virgin Radio Asia which is based in Singapore and part of Virgin Radio International which is still part of the Virgin Group. Are you still with us?  Virgin Radio Asia has one station broadcasting in Thailand with others in China, plus Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkatta set to become Virgins in the immediate future, as they link up with a leading Indian media group. Oui Fm is another in Paris along with the Internet based stations Radio Free Virgin out of the USA and this is all part of Virgin Radio International, so it is no surprise that C.E.O Ian Grace and C.O.O Mark Fisher are sniffing around Dubai and their neighbours, either invited or working on intuition.
Could Virgin exist in any Arab state other than Dubai?  UAE radio is a hot topic and it has taken the activity Grammy compared to any other country in the Middle East now.  A little bit of history is in order to explain the workings of commercial Gulf radio because it is nothing like the UK, Read more

THE PRONOUN VIRUS – MY PET HATE

So I am nearly famous: I am locally more infamous for my often direct approach to Advertising Agencies and those manipulating the media and more about that as this blog matures and I am sure it will get juicy so have no fears.  I have plenty of pet media hates, but upfront ‘THE PRONOUN VIRUS’ is my biggest campaign to date.  Sometimes I get a little short with clients when they insist on streams of unnecessary, pointless information within a script, such as this endless patronizing clap-trap experienced these days and telephone numbers etc.  YOU KNOW IT, YOU HATE IT TOO, when it is not your own service, because you think ‘you are the best’, so naively, (I would say ‘stupidly’ but it upsets people)  go right out there and follow suit and do the same. “YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT TO US”. ‘VISIT OUR WEB SITE ON…’  ‘CALL US’   ‘ABOUT US’. It is NOTHING BUT VOMIT. Who the hell is ‘US’? It is endemic though and dreadfully lacks credibility, creativity, just everything!  My bitching about it so often intimidates some clients,  but surprisingly most will agree to it as being superfluous as if a light in their creative cavity within their brain got switched on. Retorts like; ‘But this is what I see and hear all the time, is that not what we should do also?’ In a word; ‘NO!’ So rather than rattle on for now and I got plenty to say and lots which will intimidate some into hate and elate others into love.  Firstly, I got some recognition and accreditation and the word is obviously spreading, so I will point  you to another site and another media blog where you can read THE PRONOUN VIRUS saga and how they accredit my comments. The site is   ‘Bollix Media‘  and has a lot of visitors, so good exposure from a media standpoint, but might not always be my personal viewpoint.

This page is open to all and although your post has to be approved, very little if any will not be,  no matter what you say and the folks at ADmaze Media will approve it (or not) as fast as possible. Behave! Be factual! Like you, I accept that creative art is wholy abstract so without patronizing you,  your opinion is totally valued. But unlike every sickly IVR system in the world (except our’s)  ‘your call is NOT important to US’‘  and nobody cares whether you participate or not, but it would be nice if you did.

USUAL RULES: If you slag me or someone/anyone,  an individual or a company, you had better have your facts on your key board or shut the **** up, because we’ll be taking names and want the full gorey juice on it.  If it is bollix, don’t waste your time.  Debate is fine,  Political Correctness, racial harmony and all that bumf is entirely optional but we’ve all been so dumbed down that most of us will surely adhere.  In the worst case scenario, don’t accuse someone of being a shirt lifter if in fact they are a pillow biter for example.

Registrations are really welcome as I’d like a bit of a voice-over and advertising family, community thing going if I can. So your real name and email is preferred but not essential, eitherway, NOBODY will ever find out who you are unless  you yourself, thee, the bloggee prints your name – yourself! Torture me all they like, I will never personally know as the site is administered in far off lands that have not been discovered yet.   Geggyboy