The Hariri-owned English newspaper The Daily Star Lebanon (TDS) decided to fire all its staff. The staff received the notification from the Editor-In-Chief, Nadim Ladki, via email.
“With a heavy heart, I regret to inform you that a decision has been made to lay off all staff at The Daily Star as of October 31, 2021,” Ladki wrote.
TDS, which was about to reach its 70 years of operation, had been struggling financially and wasn’t paying its staff, an issue raised by disgruntled employees back in 2019.
Back in January 2020, the newspaper brought its printed copies to a stop, stating that it is temporary due to “a drop to virtually no advertising revenue in the last quarter of 2019, as well as in January of this year.”
For the past few years, TDS’ readership and ranking has been on the decline, according to Alexa Rankings. It ultimately lost its first-place position as Lebanon’s leading English media site back in December 2020 to The961.
A few weeks ago, it suspended its online edition, with a message to the readers stating that it’s temporarily.
“We regret to inform our readers that due to circumstances beyond our control, we have temporarily suspended updating our website. We thank you for your understanding,” the message reads on their website.
There has been no update to the website since.
On Monday, the long-running news media outlet that was launched in 1952 came to a final stop with the email firing all its staff.
Back in 1952, Kamel Mrowa, the publisher/owner of the Arabic daily Al-Hayat, initiated The Daily Star in Lebanon as the first English news in order to serve the growing number of expats brought into the region by the oil industry.
By the 1960s, it became the leading English language newspaper in the Middle East.
TDS survived the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) yet not without suspending its publication more than once, to then get back into operation in 1996.
In 2009, it faced financial difficulties and was shut down by court order for two weeks.
In 2010, TDS was bought by a group of businessmen close to the Hariri family. According to the Media Ownership Monitor Lebanon, “the Chairman confirms that the shares ultimately belong to the Hariri family.”
Editor’s note: For those who have lost their jobs, we are currently hiring English Journalists and Editors at 961News.