Antoine Choueiri, the founder of the Choueiri Group and the architect of much of the structure of the Middle East's media industry, died yesterday in Beirut following a long battle with cancer. He was 70. The Choueiri Group is the largest media broker in the Middle East, representing many of the biggest names in media, including the marketing company MBC Group and Dubai Media Incorporated.
As the chairman of the company, Mr Choueiri wielded a great deal of power within the region's media industry and was widely regarded as having the ability to make or break a television station by granting or denying entry into the Choueiri network. As a result, he was both a controversial figure and a beloved one who served as a mentor to a generation of advertising executives. Mr Choueiri founded the Choueiri Group in Paris after the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in the 1970s. The first office in the Middle East was opened in Saudi Arabia, followed by Lebanon and the UAE.
Today, the group operates in 11 markets across the MENA region, Europe and Japan, with 14 subsidiaries and more than 500 executives. It sells advertising space on more than 30 radio and television stations, print publications and other media. Mr Choueiri is survived by his wife, Rose, and his two children: Pierre Choueiri, who serves as the group's managing director, and Lena Nahas, who serves as its chief financial officer.