Sources: Head of DMC network dismissed, plans to launch DMC News scrapped

Tarek Ismail, the chairman of the board at the DMC television network, is set to be dismissed from his job, according to well-informed network sources.

Speaking to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, the sources said that the decision was allegedly made on October 4, and that they expect a public announcement to follow shortly, once a successor is appointed.

The dismissal, according to the sources, stems from General Intelligence Service (GIS) Abbas Kamel’s accusations that the GIS-owned DMC network has squandered hundred of millions of pounds without generating sufficient return in recent years.

The sources told Mada Masr that the complaint stated that under Ismail’s direct supervision, the DMC network failed to cover its losses and did not garner enough popularity. His management style, large disparities in salaries and preferential treatment shown to some presenters and journalists in particular also caused rifts within the network, the sources added.

A new channel, DMC News, was also set to launch in September, but the network sources added that the launch was scrapped after its head Manal al-Daftar was asked to resign early that month. DMC has yet to announce a replacement. Television executive Albert Shafiq was poised to take the helm before network management received orders to drop his appointment without being notified why.

All employees currently working toward the launch of DMC News, and who have been on the parent company’s payroll for the past two years, will be transferred to other channels, the sources explained. They added that employees will likely be transferred back to the main DMC channel or other channels belonging to either the Egyptian Media Group or the D Media Group, both of which belong to GIS.

The Egyptian Media Group is the parent company of several media organizations, including ONtv and the Youm7 news organization, while D Media owns the DMC network, Radio 9090, and mobtada.com.

According to the sources, the DMC network spent LE1 billion over the past two years, leaving insufficient funds for the launch of DMC News. They told Mada Masr that Kamel, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s chief of staff at the time, envisioned the channel as a competitor for other regional news outlets, like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Sky News Arabia.

Last December, reports emerged that the Egyptian Media Group had been acquired by Eagle Capital for Financial Investments, a private equity fund owned by the GIS. According to sources who had direct dealings with Eagle Capital after the merger, one of whom met with its head and former Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid, Eagle Capital was established to manage all of the intelligence body’s assets in a swathe of private companies, all of which the GIS owns in whole or in part.

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