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SPH to merge The New Paper and My Paper and cut workforce according to reports

Amos Yee coverage in The New PaperA few days after Singapore Press Holdings launched a marketing campaign advocating “the power of sharing”, news emerges that the company is to merge two of its newspapers and cut its workforce by 5-10%.

According to sources talking to Bloomberg, The New Paper and My Paper are to merge, and a free newspaper launched in their place.

The new title will compete with Mediacorp’s Today newspaper, and target “business-savvy readers”, according to the report.

The workforce reduction will see mostly part-time staff make way, according to the sources.

The news comes soon after the Straits Times publisher consolidated its sales and marketing functions, and just ahead of the company’s earnings for the year.

SPH newspaper ad revenue in 2015; source: The company

SPH newspaper ad revenue in 2015; source: The company

In March, Patrick Daniel, the former editor-in-chief of the company’s English/Malay/Tamil Media (EMTM) Group, who was recently appointed deputy chief executive, said: “Can we reverse the slide in our media business? We must try. Even if we don’t achieve a turnaround, we must at least slow the slide. Everything we do must be aligned with this purpose.”

Like many publishers in the region, SPH’s decline of print advertising has not been offset by a sufficient rise in digital revenue. The company’s balance sheet has been helped by the luxury shopping malls that it owns.

Mumbrella has approached SPH for comment, but the company said it did not respond to speculation.

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