Singapore

SPH retrenches 140 employees from sales and magazines units

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be laying off 140 employees from its media sales and magazines operations as it addresses the impact Covid-19 has had on advertising revenues.

The retrenchments will affect about 5 per cent of its Media Group's headcount and is part of its media transformation road map, it said in a statement yesterday.

Affected staff will receive compensation on terms negotiated and agreed with the Creative Media and Publishing Union.

SPH has also been working closely with the union and e2i - NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute that matches workers to jobs - to ensure that they get the help and support they need during this period, the statement said.

ECONOMIC DOWNTURN

SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung said that the economic downturn has significantly impacted SPH's advertising revenue, although subscriptions and readership of the group's news titles have increased since the onset of Covid-19.

Digital circulation of its news titles, including The Straits Times, has grown 52.6 per cent so far this year, compared with a year ago, boosting overall circulation of these titles by 9.8 per cent in the same period.

Newsroom staff and journalists are not affected by this exercise.

Mr Ng said: "A more integrated approach of producing and selling our content across our various platforms will allow us to deal more efficiently and effectively with the new level of demand we are seeing from our advertisers and audience."

Besides media, SPH is in property, purpose-built student accommodation and nursing homes. It owns malls such as Paragon, The Clementi Mall and The Rail Mall.

Last year, the company started a review of its media business to provide advertisers with more effective marketing solutions by adopting an integrated sales approach across its different platforms and titles, the statement said.

SPH had brought together the specialist appeal of its magazine titles and radio audiences with the broader mass market audiences of its newspaper titles, and rolled out self-service options for advertisers to customise their campaigns.

SPH has also intensified its efforts to share its content resources across its print, digital and voice platforms, the statement said.

It added: "The streamlining of operations for greater efficiency and synergy has led to the redundancy of some roles."

Employment