Singapore

SPH to cut some 130 jobs as it streamlines operations

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be trimming its workforce by about 130 employees as it continues to streamline operations amid the digital transformation of its core media business.

Those affected are from the group's media solutions division, magazines and smaller subsidiaries. They include non-contract renewals and retirements as well as 71 employees who will be retrenched. SPH newsrooms were not affected by the cut.

SPH chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung said yesterday: "The restructuring will enable us to deliver more effective integrated solutions across various media platforms to meet the evolving demands of our advertising customers as well as audiences. We continue to invest in the newsrooms and digital media capabilities while remaining disciplined about costs."

He added: "This restructuring exercise is necessary to enhance our operational efficiency and strengthen our position in this challenging economic and media environment."

SPH is restructuring its media and magazine operations to enable integrated selling across all platforms - print, digital, radio and outdoors.

As the magazine business had always operated as a subsidiary with its own sales and support teams, its integration with the group's newspaper business will result in duplication.

Mr David Teo, president of the Creative Media and Publishing Union, said it has worked with SPH on the compensation packages and the necessary assistance to ensure the process will be handled in the best way possible.

To help the affected employees find new skills for new jobs, the management has agreed to provide a training grant for each of the affected employees so that they can use it for skill upgrading.

Union members can also tap the Union Training Assistance Programme fund for their training, Mr Teo said.

SPH has informed the Ministry of Manpower and NTUC about this exercise. Affected staff will receive compensation on terms negotiated and agreed with the staff union.

The exercise is expected to be completed by the current quarter and incur retrenchment costs of about $8 million.

With the integration, readers can expect to see greater sharing of content resources within SPH across platforms and titles. - THE STRAITS TIMES

BUSINESS & FINANCE