Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported yesterday a 23.4 per cent decline in net profit for financial year 2019.
In line with this finding, SPH announced that it will be laying off 5% of its staff in the media group to restructure and streamline its operations.
About 130 employees from the group’s media solutions division, magazines and smaller subsidiaries will be affected by this move, of which 71 employees will be retrenched.
No newsroom staff members will be affected by the cut.
The staff redundancies are expected to be complete by end November at a retrenchment cost of about $8 million.
SPH Restructures Its Business
It is restructuring its media and magazine operations to enable integrated selling across all platforms — print, digital, radio and outdoors.
“Readers will benefit from the greater sharing of content resources within SPH across platforms and titles. For example, Hardware Zone’s tech expertise will help beef up the tech columns of news titles such as The Straits Times and The Business Times,” said the company.
“Some of the content can also be ported over to radio and even SPH’s out-of-home screens in lifts and commercial areas. This has been happening for a while, and SPH will intensify efforts to make content liquid across audience-centric platforms. This ultimately will drive subscriber and advertising revenue.”
This new consolidated approach basically allows a marketer who wants to reach a mass audience to dive deeper into a niche like fashion or technology via one of SPH’s magazine properties.
It could also help advertisers initially drawn in by a special interest audience to spread their message to the wider network of SPH consumers.
“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,” said SPH chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung.
“We continue to invest in the newsrooms and digital media capabilities while remaining disciplined about costs. This restructuring exercise is necessary to enhance our operational efficiency and strengthen our position in this challenging economic and media environment.”
Support For Affected Staff
SPH is currently working with the Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) on the compensation packages and job support they will be providing to affected staff.
CMPU will partner NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) to have e2i’s employability coaches at the company’s premises to provide advice and assistance to the affected staff.
The union will also arrange for affected employees to access the NTUC-Korn Ferry Advance service, which will provide them with job-profiling and other employment-related tools.
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.
SPH said it has informed the Ministry of Manpower and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on its retrenchment exercise, and that employees who are laid off will receive compensation based on terms negotiated and agreed with the staff union.
Featured Image Credit: Independent.sg