Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media group (EMTM) and editor of The Straits Times, will be leaving the company to pursue other professional opportunities.
This was announced by SPH Media Group on Tuesday along with other changes to key leadership positions in its newsrooms.
Succeeding Mr Fernandez as editor-in-chief of EMTM, is Mr Wong Wei Kong, who is currently the editor of The Business Times while Mr Jaime Ho, who was chief editor at CNA Digital, will assume Mr Fernandez’s position as editor of ST.
Taking over Mr Wong’s position as editor of BT, is Ms Chen Huifen, BT’s current executive editor.
Mr Fernandez’s last day at the company will be on 25 Oct and the three appointments will take place on the day after.
Mr Fernandez, became editor of ST in 2012 — soon after the ruling People’s Action Party’s poor performance in General Election 2011. He was later appointed Editor-in-Chief in 2016 during a major leadership reshuffle.
Speaking on his departure from SPH, he said: “It has been my honour to serve as the editor-in-chief of ST and its sister titles, which so many Singaporeans rely on for credible news and views.”
He added: “My colleagues and I have strived to transform our newsrooms to become multimedia news operations to meet audiences’ changing needs. This remains a work in progress, and the challenge now passes to my colleagues to take this further forward. I will be cheering them on as they do.”
Mr Khaw Boon Wan, chairman of SPH Media Trust, thanked Mr Fernandez for his extraordinary dedication to ST in the past decade and said he has successfully paved the way for ST’s continued growth, both as a news product on multiple platforms and an established brand.
SPH Media also noted that with Mr Fernandez at the helm, ST has transformed from a print-focused newspaper to a multimedia product that delivers quality journalism across different channels and platforms throughout the day.
Where is Mr Fernandez going?
It has been said that Mr Fernandez is leaving his high appointment to pursue other professional opportunities. No information is provided as to where he will be going next.
According to a 2016 opinion piece by P N Balji, a veteran Singaporean journalist who is the former chief editor of The New Paper and TODAY, the People’s Action Party (PAP) had wanted to field Mr Fernandez as a candidate in Singapore General Election 2006.
“The appointment of Fernandez as editor in 2012 was the talk of the newsroom
as he had left in a huff four years earlier after serving as deputy editor.
There was no doubt in anyone’s minds, even in his critics’, that his appointment as deputy editor was done to fast track his rise to the editorship of ST. The PAP wanted him to stand in the 2006 elections but then editor in chief Cheong Yip Seng convinced the ruling party that he would be more useful in journalism than in politics.
If what Mr Balji said is true, there might be a possibility to see Mr Fernandez walking along the men in white soon. Particularly amidst speculations of an early election to avoid an incoming recession in the country.