Singapore Press Holdings plans to divest its 20 per cent stake in Mediacorp TV (which owns Channels 5, 8 and U and Mediacorp Studios) and 40 per cent stake in Mediacorp Press, the publisher of the Today newspaper, for $18 million, the firm said on Friday (Aug 25).
SPH expects to record a writedown of about $31 million in its books. The deal is likely to be completed at the end of September.
The deal comes 12 years after SPH purchased the stakes as part of a media industry asset consolidation in 2005. During the consolidation, SPH transferred a TV channel to Mediacorp and took a 20 per cent stake in Mediacorp TV.
SPH also merged its free newspaper Streats with Today, and invested in a 40 per cent stake in Mediacorp Press.
As part of the deal announced on Friday, Mediacorp will also stop publishing any soft copy or computer-readable format of Today that has the look and feel of a hardcopy version of the newspaper, for a period of five years.
RBKD: In IMDA’s report released on Thursday (Aug 24), it said the PACs (Programme Advisory Committees) noted greater diversity in drama themes, with some featuring subject matters that were topical, educational and even taboo. For example, The Strength Within by Vasantham covered mental health issues – a topic rarely explored in Tamil dramas, IMDA said.
It also noted that previous concerns on the “over-reliance on dark themes” such as vengeance and revenge in Tamil storylines have been addressed “with an injection of greater thematic diversity”.
Peace and Prosperity (Channel 8) was also highlighted for its inclusion of multi-racial characters which “resulted in a more balanced portrayal of Singapore society”, IMDA said.
RBKD: Mediacorp has announced the appointment of Ms Tham Loke Kheng as its CEO, starting Sep 1. Ms Tham succeeds Mr Shaun Seow, who remains as Mediacorp’s Executive Director until Sep 30 before he joins Temasek.
Ms Tham has held senior management and leadership roles in leading Asian operators in Singapore, Taiwan and most recently, Hong Kong.
Graduating from the National University of Singapore, Ms Tham spent eight years in then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation. She has served as president of Taiwan Broadband Communications and as head of NOW TV, the largest Pay TV operator in Hong Kong.
In 2015, Ms Tham was named Content Asia’s Asia Media Woman of the Year, in recognition of her contribution to the development of the Pay TV industry in Asia over the years.
RBKD: CNA reported that Mediacorp’s CEO, Mr Shawn Seow, will be leaving Mediacorp for Temasek holdings, after becoming Mediacorp’s CEO in 2011. He will serve his term till Sep 30, 2017 and Mediacorp is in search of his successor currently.
Tay wins the coveted Best Actress award for the first time in 21 years, besting younger fellow nominees Rui En and Jeanette Aw.
By Genevieve Sarah Loh
RBKD: CNA mentioned that Zoe Tay, dubbed the Queen of Mediacorp, won only her second Best Actress trophy in her three decade-long career, beating fellow nominees Rui En and Jeanette Aw.
RBKD: CNA mentioned that Rui En was also nominated for Best Actress award, for her role as an unhappy housewife in “If Only I Could…” – which she was said to have gained a lot of weight for.
RBKD: Mr Chang Long Jong, Mediacorp’s deputy CEO and chief customer officer, has resigned and is currently serving his three-month notice period.
Mediacorp’s CEO Shaun Seow had announced in a memo to staff today. Mr Seow announced the position of deputy CEO will not be filled. He also shared that Mr Chang’s post of chief customer officer will be taken by Ms Debra Soon who is also head of the Family (English) and Premier Segments.
Mr Chang has been with Mediacorp for more than 30 years, joining the then the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) in 1985.
RBKD: In a joint press release by Mediacorp and Netflix, it was announced that 25 Chinese dramas produced by Mediacorp would be made available to global audience through Netflix starting early 2017.
RBKD: According to the annual Nielsen Media Index Report released today, 85.5% of local viewers tuned in to free-to-air television on an average weekly basis versus 51.7% who tuned in to pay TV weekly.
The survey, which involved 4,660 people of age 15 and above, was conducted between July 2015 to June 2016
Channel 8 maintained the highest weekly reach among Mediacorp’s channels at 56.7 per cent, or 2.4 million viewers.
All Mediacorp’s free-to-air TV channels, except for Okto, registered increases in viewership with overall TV viewership growing 6% from the previous year.
The survey also revealed monthly usage of internet at 83.3%.