The National undergoing new 'digital transformation'
ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi's English-language newspaper, The National, has been undergoing a new "digital" transformation, its new owners said Monday, as sources close to the transition say some layoffs are expected.
The paper was founded in 2008 and owned by the government-owned Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) which sold it last November to International Media Investments (IMI).
Sources close to the transition said that some journalists and other staff will lose their jobs, although it was not immediately clear how many could be laid off.
A spokesman for IMI said the transition -- which will include a "digital transformation" and retain the print edition -- will be completed in mid-2017.
"As part of this transition, over the past few months, IMI has finalised its new vision for The National, supported by a robust editorial strategy to ensure that The National fulfils its potential as a premier English language source of news about and for the Middle East," the spokesman said.
"It is embarking on a digital transformation, while retaining its print product. As part of this transformation, The National is putting together its team, made of existing and new talent.
"IMI prioritised The National's existing staff as it seeks to hire for additional newsroom needs."
Sources close to the process said the post of chief editor could go to Mina Al-Oraibi, the former assistant editor of Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
IMI is a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation (ADMIC), a private company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, half-brother of Abu Dhabi's ruler and UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
Sheikh Mansour also owns the Abu Dhabi group that bought English Premier League club Manchester City in 2008.
ADMIC partnered in 2010 with British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) to form Sky News Arabia, which launched in 2012.