Saudi Research and Marketing Group, UK-Based Independent Ink Media Deal

Last week, the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) and the UK-based Independent announced an exclusive licensing deal that will lead to the creation of four new online news services offering “the highest-quality, free-thinking, independent news, insight and analysis on global affairs and local events,” according to reports.

SRMG, the middle east’s biggest publisher whose mastheads include the english-language daily Arab News and many others, is a conglomerate with holdings in educational aids, advertising, distribution and printing in the region.

SRMG recently appointed a new chairman, Dr Ghassan bin Abdulrahman Al-Shibl, a prominent Saudi businessman who is also the chairman of Saudia, formerly Saudi Arabian Airlines, the state-owned carrier of Saudi Arabia. Al-Shibl has overseen the expansion of the airline’s services and fleet as well as efforts toward privatization.

Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl recently took over as SRMG's new managing director and chief executive of the group.

Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl recently took over as SRMG’s new managing director and chief executive of the group.

Al-Shibl holds both a master’s degree and a PhD from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

He replaced the departing Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan at the top of SRMG, who was appointed as the Kingdom’s first minister of Culture.

According to the Independent,  the new sites – Independent ArabiaIndependent UrduIndependent Turkish, and Independent Persian – will be owned and operated by SRMG. All editorial practices and output will conform to the world-renowned standards, code of conduct and established ethos of The Independent.