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SPH Media Trust
Company type Company limited by guarantee (SMT) [1]
Industry Mass media
Founded1 December 2021; 2 years ago (2021-12-01)
Headquarters Toa Payoh, Singapore
Key people
Khaw Boon Wan ( Chairman)
Teo Lay Lim ( CEO)
Number of employees
2,500
Website www.sph.com.sg

SPH Media Trust (SMT), trading as SPH Media, is a mass media company in Singapore. Incorporated on 19 July 2021 as a company limited by guarantee, it was spun off from Singapore Press Holdings as part of a restructuring. It owns several major newspapers in the country, including the English-language The Straits Times and The Business Times, Chinese-language Lianhe Zaobao and Shin Min Daily News, Malay-language Berita Harian, and the Tamil Murasu. The company also publishes magazines, and operates five radio stations.

It forms part of a duopoly of the mass media in the country, alongside the state-owned enterprise Mediacorp. [2] SPH Media has over 2,500 employees, including a team of approximately 1,000 journalists, including correspondents operating around the world.

History

Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) was formed on 4 August 1984 through a merger of three organisations, The Straits Times Press Group, Singapore News and Publications Limited and Times Publishing Berhad. [3]

SPH readership has stagnated since the early-2000s, as Singaporeans increasingly turned to online media for their news consumption. [4]

On 6 May 2021, SPH in response to shareholder pressures, had proposed that it would restructure itself and transfer its media business into a company limited by guarantee (CLG), which will be privately managed. [5] [6] The new CLG would initially be managed by the holders of SPH's management shareholders at the time, while still having to issue new management shares of the media business under the CLG as required by Newspaper and Printing Presses Act. [7] [8] The government would also lift the shareholder limits on the currently listed SPH entity. [8] This new CLG was named SPH Media Trust. [9]

On 10 September 2021, an extraordinary general meeting was convened over the restructuring proposal to transfer all media business-related assets and staff to SMT. Approximately 97.55% of the 300 shareholders voted in favour of the proposal. [10] The transfer was completed on 1 December 2021. The assets transferred included its headquarters, News Center, and its press, Print Center, as well as all intellectual property and information technology assets. Along with the assets transfer, 2,500 staff were transferred to SMT as well. SPH had also injected SMT with S$80 million cash and S$30 million of SPH stocks and SPH REIT units. [11]

As part of its restructuring, it discontinued print publication of The New Paper on 11 December 2021, becoming a digital-only publication. [12] It also merged the Lianhe Wanbao (联合晚报) into the Shin Min Daily News (新明日报) on 24 December 2021, citing the limited number of Chinese media talent in the country, redundancy in content, and a plan to focus on bolstering its digital operations. [13]

To aid with the restructuring of its operations, Singapore government announced on 16 February 2022 that it would provide SMT up to S$900 million over the next five years, with the amount dependent on achieving certain targets such as reach and engagement of its products and to certain vernacular groups and youth. [14]

A review of internal processes of SMT was started in March 2022 which included the reporting of circulation data. [15] In January 2023, it was reported that daily circulation numbers of SPH's publications, including broadsheets The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, were inflated by 10 to 12 percent. [15] The figures were inflated due to double counting of subscriptions, a project account which was funded to purchase fictitious circulation and arbitrarily derived circulation numbers. [15]

Ownership

As a private company, SPH Media Trust is managed privately by its shareholders. The initial shareholders were made up of the management shareholders of Singapore Press Holdings, [7] [8] as SPH was a newspaper company as defined under the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (NPPA) of 1974. The management shares are regulated through NPPA and its issuance and transfers have to be approved by the Ministry of Communications and Information, and in "any resolution relating to the appointment or dismissal of a director or any member of the staff" the vote of one management share is equivalent to 200 ordinary shares. [16]

New management shares are to be issued to the individual media businesses under SMT. [7] [8]

The institutional members of SMT are: [17]

Newspapers

SPH Media publishes 9 newspaper titles in four languages in Singapore. [18]

English

  • The Straits Times (Sunday edition: The Sunday Times)
  • The Business Times (Saturday edition: The Business Times Weekend)
  • The New Paper – English tabloid newspaper
  • STOMP – citizen journalism web portal
  • tabla! – free English language newspaper for the Indian community; 30,000 copies distributed each Friday at 7-Eleven outlets

Chinese

Malay

Tamil

Magazines

SPH Media publishes and produces 9 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. [20]

Radio

SPH Media manages and operates 5 radio stations: 96.3 Hao FM and UFM100.3 in Mandarin as well as MONEY FM 89.3, Kiss92 FM and ONE FM 91.3 in English. [23] [24] All the frequencies below can be heard in the Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands.

Frequency ( Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands) TRP (kW) Station RDS Language Genre Broadcast area Transmitter site Opening date Notes
89.3 MHz ( Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands) 15 MONEY FM 89.3 MONEY FM English Financial news/ Talk Singapore
Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District ( Malaysia)
Batam/ Batam Islands, Riau Islands ( Indonesia)
Bukit Batok Transmission Centre 29 January 2018; 6 years ago (29 January 2018) Previously carried an audio simulcast of TVMobile (before 2010)
91.3 MHz ( Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands) 12 ONE FM 91.3 ONEFM Classic hits
Modern adult contemporary
2 March 1991; 33 years ago (2 March 1991) Previously known as HOT FM, a Top 40 CHR station (before 2015)
92.0 MHz ( Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands) 6 Kiss92 FM KISS 92 Urban adult contemporary 3 September 2012; 11 years ago (3 September 2012)
96.3 MHz ( Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands) 6 96.3 Hao FM HAO FM Mandarin Chinese Classic hits ( C-pop)
Talk
8 January 2018; 6 years ago (8 January 2018) Formerly launched as XFM 96.3 by Mediacorp
100.3 MHz ( Johor Bahru/ Johor Bahru District, Singapore and Batam City/ Batam Islands) 11 UFM100.3 UFM1003 Adult contemporary ( Mandopop)
Infotainment
2 March 1991; 33 years ago (2 March 1991)

Other media

Straits Times Press

SPH Media's subsidiary Straits Times Press produces books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Digital

Apart from AsiaOne and Tech In Asia, SPH Media's online and new media initiatives include STJobs, online portal for jobs; and STClassifieds for general classified ads.

Advertising

SPH Media has ventured into outdoor advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO. [25]

References

  1. ^ "SPH MEDIA TRUST (202125108M) - Singapore Business Directory". SGPBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Singapore profile - Media". BBC News. BBC News. 17 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Formation of Singapore Press Holdings". NLB. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Why did SPH restructure? Umbrage, COVID-19 and SGAG". Singapore Samizdat. 27 May 2021. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  5. ^ Ho, Grace (6 May 2021). "SPH to restructure media business into not-for-profit entity to support quality journalism". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 23 March 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Why Singapore Press Holdings is Restructuring". thediplomat.com. Archived from the original on 3 May 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Kurohi, Rei (11 May 2021). "Management shares and CLGs". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 23 March 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d Lim, Raphael (10 May 2021). "Khaw Boon Wan to be chairman of SPH Media CLG, management shareholders to be founding members". The Business Times. Archived from the original on 2 September 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  9. ^ Ong, Justin (1 December 2021). "SPH Media Trust launches with mission for ST and media titles to be trusted source of news". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 15 February 2022. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  10. ^ "SPH shareholders vote in favour of hiving off loss-making media business". The Drum. Archived from the original on 22 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  11. ^ "SPH announces completion of media restructuring". Singapore Business Review. 2 December 2021. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  12. ^ "The New Paper goes fully digital amidst plans to accelerate newsroom transformation". www.marketing-interactive.com. 21 September 2021. Archived from the original on 2 April 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News to merge". www.marketing-interactive.com. 27 September 2021. Archived from the original on 23 March 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Govt to provide SPH Media Trust up to S$900 million over 5 years as it loses money restructuring". mothership.sg. Archived from the original on 16 February 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  15. ^ a b c "SPH Media circulation numbers found to be inflated by 10-12%; senior staff taken to task, Govt probe underway". TODAY. Archived from the original on 20 February 2023. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  16. ^ George, Cherian (1 April 2012). Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore. NUS Press. p. 31. ISBN  9789971695941. Archived from the original on 26 October 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Institutional Members of SPH Media Trust". SPH Media Limited. Archived from the original on 3 September 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  18. ^ "News". SPH Media. Archived from the original on 3 September 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  19. ^ "Refreshed zbSunday offers a brighter and livelier read". AsiaOne. 27 March 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Lifestyle". SPH Media. Archived from the original on 3 September 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  21. ^ "Harper's BAZAAR Singapore/Fashion, Beauty, Travel, Parties & Culture". Harper's Bazaar Singapore. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  22. ^ Jun, Seah Pei. "Homepage". The Singapore Women's Weekly. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Radio". SPH Media. Archived from the original on 29 August 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  24. ^ "SPH Radio". SPH Radio. Archived from the original on 4 May 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  25. ^ "Out-Of-Home Advertising". SPH Media. Archived from the original on 25 August 2023. Retrieved 25 August 2023.

External links