SPH Media Trust

SPH Media Trust (SMT), commonly known as SPH Media, is a media organisation with businesses in print, digital, radio, and outdoor media in Singapore. Legally a company limited by guarantee, it was incorporated on 19 July 2021, and begin establishment operation on 1 December 2021 after Singapore Press Holdings Limited completed the transfer of its media business.

SPH Media Trust
TypeCompany limited by guarantee[1]
IndustryMass media
Founded1 December 2021 (2021-12-01)
HeadquartersToa Payoh, Singapore
Key people
Khaw Boon Wan (Chairman)
Teo Lay Lim (CEO)
ProductsPublications
Number of employees
2,500
Websitewww.sph.com.sg

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

History

Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPHL) 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]

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

On 6 May 2021, SPHL 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 will be initially managed by the holders of SPHL's current management shareholders: OCBC Bank, Great Eastern, United Overseas Bank, DBS Bank, Singtel, NTUC Income, Temasek, the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University, 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. SPHL had also injected SMT with S$80 million cash and S$30 million of SPHL stocks and SPH REIT units.[11]

As part of its restructuring, it transited The New Paper into a fully digital publication and ceased to be a print publication on 11 December 2021.[12] Additionally, it folded Lianhe Wanbao (联合晚报) into Shin Min Daily News (新明日报) on 24 December 2021, consolidating its resources to produce only one Chinese evening paper while taking into account of the limited number of local talents in the Chinese media and shrinking market.[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]

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 Limited,[7][8] as SPHL 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.[15]

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

Newspapers

In Singapore, SMT publishes 8 newspaper titles in four languages.[16]

English

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

Chinese

  • Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报) (Sunday edition: zbSunday)[17]
  • Shin Min Daily News (新明日报)

Malay

  • Berita Harian (Sunday edition: Berita Minggu)

Tamil

  • Tamil Murasu (தமிழ் முரசு)

Magazines

SMT publishes and produces 10 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.[18]

  • Female
  • HWM
  • HardwareZone
  • Harper's Bazaar Singapore[19]
  • Her World
  • Home & Decor
  • ICON
  • Nüyou
  • The Peak
  • Singapore Women's Weekly[20]

Book publishing

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

Digital

Beyond print, the digital editions of SMT newspapers enjoy over 360 million page views with 23 million unique visitors every month.[21] Apart from AsiaOne, SMT's online and new media initiatives include STOMP, online journalism web portal; STJobs and STProperty, online portal for jobs and property; and STClassifieds for general classified ads.[16]

In 2018, SPHL sold a 51% stake in AsiaOne to mm2 Asia.[22]

Radio

SMT manages and operates five 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.[16][23]

MONEY FM 89.3 targets educated English speakers aged 35 years and above who take an interest in everyday personal finance matters. ONE FM 91.3 is an English music station playing all the greatest hits from the 80s’ to now. Kiss92 FM targets modern, driven and savvy women aged between 30 and 50, providing informative content and adult contemporary music from the 90's to current. 96.3 Hao FM (96.3好FM) targets bilingual Singaporeans aged 45 years and above. UFM100.3 targets working professionals aged between 35 and 49 years.

Frequency Station Language Genre First air date Website
89.3 MHzMoney FM 89.3EnglishFinancial news/talk29 January 2018 (29 January 2018)Website
91.3 MHzOne FM 91.3Classic hits
Adult contemporary
2 March 1991 (2 March 1991)Website
92.0 MHzKiss92 FMAdult contemporary
Infotainment
3 September 2012 (3 September 2012)Website
96.3 MHz96.3 Hao FMMandarin ChineseClassic hits (C-pop)
Infotainment
8 January 2018 (8 January 2018)Website
100.3 MHzUFM100.3Adult contemporary (Mandopop)
Infotainment
2 March 1991 (2 March 1991)Website

Outdoor advertising

SMT has ventured into outdoor advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO.[16]

References

  1. "SPH MEDIA TRUST (202125108M) - Singapore Business Directory". SGPBusiness.com. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  2. "Singapore profile - Media". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 17 February 2020. 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. 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. Retrieved 20 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Why Singapore Press Holdings is Restructuring". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  7. Kurohi, Rei (11 May 2021). "Management shares and CLGs". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Lim, Raphael (10 May 2021). "Khaw Boon Wan to be chairman of SPH Media CLG, management shareholders to be founding members". The Business Times. Retrieved 20 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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. Retrieved 12 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "SPH shareholders vote in favour of hiving off loss-making media business". The Drum. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  11. "SPH announces completion of media restructuring". Singapore Business Review. 2 December 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  12. "The New Paper goes fully digital amidst plans to accelerate newsroom transformation". www.marketing-interactive.com. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  13. "Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News to merge". www.marketing-interactive.com. 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. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  15. George, Cherian (1 April 2012). Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore. NUS Press. p. 31. ISBN 9789971695941.
  16. "Our brands". SPH Media Solutions. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  17. "Refreshed zbSunday offers a brighter and livelier read". AsiaOne. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  18. "Magazines". SPH Media Solutions. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  19. "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.
  20. Jun, Seah Pei. "Homepage". The Singapore Women's Weekly. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  21. "VMWARE CASE STUDY" (PDF).
  22. "mm2 Asia, SPH to jointly operate AsiaOne". The Business Times. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. "SPH Radio". SPH Radio. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
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