Toward that end, Steven F. Hall has been appointed Chief Executive. Zafar Siddiqi, the founder and former CEO will remain Chairman.
Making the announcement, Mr. Siddiqi said, “Having established the network and brought it to its current level, I feel it is the right time to bring in a younger person to build on our successes and enhance this station’s role as the leading business news network in the region. I am extremely pleased that Steve is joining us at a time when there are immense possibilities and opportunities as the stock markets of the region further integrate into the global markets.”
Mr. Siddiqi expressed full confidence in Steve’s ability to build on CNBC Arabiya’s past successes and lead the network to new levels of stakeholder and viewer satisfaction.
Launched in 2003 on a regional basis when the concept of covering the regional stock markets “Live” was considered by many to be a challenging proposition because media laws in many Middle East countries prevented obtaining licenses to broadcast live. The station’s founder and Chairman Zafar Siddiqi said “Yes, it’s been a challenging proposition but all governments in the region recognized the importance of economic and financial news reporting and given the changing global environment, we found everyone to be very supportive of the initiative.”
CNBC Arabiya now has bureaus in all the countries of the GCC, Cairo and London, along with correspondence arrangements in place in North Africa.
Steven Hall, a seasoned broadcast executive, brings extensive experience in journalism, commercial development, branding and marketing to the channel, having been at the helm of a wide range of media enterprises in Europe and the Middle East. He also possesses an understanding of the region, having worked in Arabic television for many years with MBC News and with Abu Dhabi TV’s News Centre being involved with the planning and start up of the operation as Head of Production. Mr. Hall’s educational background includes degrees from Oxford University (M.Phil.) and California Lutheran University (BA).
“I am honoured to be named CEO of CNBC Arabiya, the regional leader in business news,” said Mr. Hall. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and the board to lead the company successfully into the future. My vision for the channel includes strengthening the brand and improving the consumer experience.” He added that “the potential for development is tremendous, particularly during this era of economic growth for businesses, markets and funds in the Middle East. It is an exciting time to be in the region.
“My strategy centres on fresh, innovative and informative programming with a renewed commitment to shareholders, advertisers and viewers. I plan to focus on relevant, high quality journalism, in-depth analysis and first rate coverage of the financial issues and events that affect our audience. With this in mind, we will continue to build upon our strengths and stature as the pre-eminent business channel in the Middle East. ”