Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced on Monday (17 October) that it had undertaken a comprehensive review of its core media business and decided to make several transformative changes, one of the key changes is the merging of My Paper and The New Paper (TNP) to form a revamped TNP which will be distributed free.
The new TNP, which will combine the strengths of both products, will be available from December at existing distribution points including MRT stations and it will continue to be available online.
SPH also stated that it will be carrying out a right-sizing exercise across the Group to reduce operating costs in view of the changing media landscape. This will involve a staff reduction of up to 10% over two years through attrition, retirement, non-renewal of contracts, outplacement and retrenchment. Currently, there are more than 4,000 of its staff force.
“SPH will work with the relevant unions to ensure that fair terms are given to affected staff and will extend to them the necessary help to support them in their transition,” it wrote.
SPH said that the review, which was conducted over the last five months, was aimed at addressing the evolving needs of advertising customers and delivering effective integrated solutions across various media platforms. In addition, the Group examined its product portfolio and identified areas to further enhance operational efficiency.
SPH said that it had made several transformative changes as a result of this review, including the formation of a new integrated marketing division (IMD) that provides advertisers with a more effective and multi-platform reach to their audiences.
The new IMD, which was formed in September through the merger of the company’s print, digital, radio and out-of-home sales teams, will deliver optimised advertising solutions using data analytics for better audience insights.
SPH will also be making several changes to its existing portfolio, to refresh and rationalise its suite of products.
Editor-in-Chief of English/Malay/Tamil Media group, Mr Warren Fernandez, said, “The New Paper currently has daily average sales of more than 60,000 which means over 60,000 people are prepared to pay 70 cents each day for the paper.”
“Merging TNP with My Paper, making it free and increasing its circulation to up to 300,000 copies, is a bold decision to serve our readers with a strong product and with revamped content. TNP has a long tradition of remaking itself to stay attuned to readers’ interests and needs. That’s part of its DNA. So now, we’re making it new again, and planning a product that we believe both readers and advertisers will find appealing,” he added.
CEO of SPH, Mr Alan Chan, said, “We have done a comprehensive business review to strengthen our position in a tough economic and media environment. Market conditions will remain difficult with the continuing disruption of the media industry.”
“We have had to take difficult decisions on cost control measures to improve operational efficiency. We will continue to innovate and invest in our media products to stay ahead and relevant. At the same time, we will grow our business adjacencies to diversify revenue streams and maximise stakeholder value,” he added.
SPH reported on Friday (14 October) that the net profit attributable to shareholders of $265.3 million in fiscal year 2016 was $56.4 million or 17.5% lower compared to fiscal year 2015.