In a report last week, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced plans to reduce 10 percent of its workforce as a part of its restructuring exercise. This move will affect only its part-time workforce, said the financial news agency.
Beginning this week, SPH confirms to lay off workers from MyPaper and merging it with The New Paper (TNP) to form a revamped TNP. This ‘right-sizing-exercise’ by the public listed company will be done over a period of two years through attrition, retirement, non-renewal of contracts, out-placement and retrenchment.
The company has undertaken a comprehensive review of its core media business over the last five months, and as a result of the review has made several transformative changes. These include, the formation of a new integrated marketing division (IMD) that provides advertisers with a more effective and multi-platform reach to their audiences.
The new IMD, which was formed in September through the merger of the company’s print, digital, radio and out-of-home sales teams, will deliver optimised advertising solutions using data analytics for better audience insights.
In a statement that was posted on the Singapore Exchange website, SPH said, “The group examined its product portfolio and identified areas to further enhance operational efficiency.” The revamped TNP will be distributed free from Monday to Saturday with a circulation run of up to 300,000, as in comparison with the roughly 60,000 copies currently sold daily.
These job cuts are efforts made to reduce operating costs. The new TNP, which will combine the strengths of both products, will be available from December at existing distribution points including MRT stations. TNP currently costs 70 cents for weekday editions and 80 cents on the weekend. It will be available for free from December.
SPH will be working with the relevant unions to ensure that fair terms are given to the affected staffers and necessary support is provided to them to help with the transition. Alan Chan, CEO of SPH was quoted by Today Online saying, “We have done a comprehensive business review to strengthen our position in a tough economic and media environment. Market conditions will remain difficult with the continuing disruption of the media industry.”
Last Friday, SPH reported that its annual profit plunged 17.5 percent, as its core media operations continued to languish in difficult market conditions. For the fiscal ended August 31, the operating revenue of SPH fell by 4.5 per cent to S$1.12 billion.