SPH outlines changes to print and digital, launches two new radio stations

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has revealed several changes in the pipeline to its print and digital offerings including newspapers The Straits Times (ST) and The Business Times (BT). This is coupled with the launch of two new radio stations, according to an ST report. Marketing has reached out to SPH for comment.

The changes were announced at a trade event organised by SPH’s Integrated Marketing Division (IMD), with editors from ST, BT, Lianhe Zaobao and The New Paper (TNP) outlining coming plans for the publications. The move follows the recently tipped merger of ST and BT business news teams and SPH’s unveiled plan to complete its full 10% staff reduction by the end of this year.

For starters, ST’s technology news will be shifted to the Life section, while BT’s weekend magazine, which currently runs on Saturdays, will be distributed with the main papers on Friday, effective 2018. BT’s Friday publication will also be revamped to carry weekend features such as car reviews and person columns, the report added.

ST’s executive editor Sumiko Tan, also highlighted that a priority for the local newspaper would be more investigative stories and “cutting-edge commentaries”. Meanwhile, another focus to grow readership would also be through events such as SPH’s Singapore Coffee Festival.

Eugene Wee, TNP editor, also clarified that the publication would not be going out of print, clarifying that this was not happening. This followed rumours that the publication would be doing the same following TODAY, a Mediacorp newspaper, going out of print in August this year. Wee added that the publication reaches almost 600,000 readers, which is 20% higher than the combined readership of TNP and My Paper prior to the merger in October 2016.

For Chinese daily newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, Goh Sin Teck, editor also shared that a highlight for the newspaper which celebrates its 95th anniversary in 2018, would be a broadway-style Chinese musical.

Meanwhile, SPH digital offering Stirr, was also mentioned. According to Chew V Ming, deputy head of digital strategy at SPH's English, Malay and Tamil Media group, the offering will be differentiated through its team of journalists, who he dubbed as “simply more aware of the big picture concerns that maybe some of the younger influencers out there may not be aware of”.

The two new radio stations are 96.3 Hao FM and Money FM 89.3, which are slated for launch in January 2018. News of the radio stations first emerged in March this year, after SPH won a public tender for the two frequencies issued by the Info-communications Media Development Authority, which was then known as the Media Development Authority. The move also brings the total number of SPH radio stations to five. Currently, SPH operates ONE FM 91.3, Kiss92 and UFM100.3.

English radio station Money FM 89.3 will focus on business and personal finance, the ST report read. To be launched in 29 January 2018, the show will be hosted by radio DJs Claressa Monteiro, Yasmin Jonkers and Elliott Danker. Currently, Danker is a DJ at ONE FM 91.3, while Monteiro is a DJ for Kiss92.

The show will be targeted at professionals, managements, executives and businessmen and those in the finance industry along with the general audience. The show will also contain content from ST, BT and ShareInvestor.

Meanwhile, 96.3 Hao FM will be a Chinese station specialising in infotainment slated for launch on 8 January 2018. It is targeted at listeners aged 45 and above, and will play local xinyao music and songs by artistes such as Wakin Chau, Faye Wong, Jacky Cheung. According to ST, It will feature radio DJs such as Jackie Liu, Tan Li Yi, Hong Wei Wen, and Wen Guo Xian.

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