Star Media Group reportedly trimming staff members

Star Media Group is tipped to be reducing its staff headcount by approximately 200, as it aims to implement the mutual separation scheme and early retirement option, said multiple media reports such as Nikkei, Malaysiakini and New Straits Times.

The news sources said that this was according to a Star Media Group internal memo. This comes amid challenges in terms of profitability. According to the reports, the memo, which was signed by group managing director/CEO Wong Chun Wai (pictured), stated that more needs to be done to "rationalise [its] business pillars", one of it being manpower, as Star Media Group works to continue being at the forefront of the industry.

Star Media Group will review its manpower needs with the goal of becoming a "lean organisation" that would readily meet mounting business challenges, the memo added.

A+M has reached out to Star Media Group for comment on whether this move will affect its marketing team.

In 2016, Star Media Group reported an overall revenue decline of 8.53% for the whole year, from RM1,019 million in 2015 to RM932 million the last year. Print and digital registered a lower revenue of 12.7% due to economic uncertainties and poor consumer sentiment, said the company in a statement. This resulted in overall newspaper advertising expenditure (ADEX) falling by 12.3% in the first quarter.

The radio broadcasting segment recorded a loss before tax of RM360,000 on a lower revenue of RM855,000, while the television channel segment registered a loss before tax of RM1.98 million on a decreased turnover of RM2.02 million.

Its event, exhibition, interior and thematic segment however, saw its revenue rising to RM42.02 million compared with RM38.09 million in the first quarter of last year. It comprises of businesses carried out by Cityneon Holdings and i.Star Ideas Factory (Perfect Livin’). The overall decline came despite a 10.3% increase in revenue from its events, exhibition, interior and thematic segments.

Late last year, Star Media Group’s subsidiary Star Online also launched VOD service Dimsum. Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said this latest investment on the VOD market is part of the group’s digital transformation plan.

In May, it sold its 52.51% stake in Cityneon Holdings for RM360.18 million cash to investment holding company, Lucrum 1 Investment. The deal was expected to allow Star Media Group to realise a gain on disposal of about RM214.07 million. Following the sale, the group looked to diversify into areas other than print, despite it bringing in a bulk of the revenue.

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