SPH to cut about 230 jobs by year-end

Singapore Press Holdings CEO Ng Yat Chung address reporters at a media conference on 11 October. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

*This article was corrected on 11 October 2017 at 11.50pm to indicate that SPH will cut about 230 jobs across the group by the year-end and not 230 newsroom and sales jobs as previously reported

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will cut about 230 jobs across the group by the end of 2017 as it accelerates a previously announced round of job cuts, the media giant said on Wednesday (11 October).

The job cuts, which include nearly 200 newsroom and sales staff, are part of a 10 per cent reduction of the SPH workforce that was announced last October.

Overall, this would mean a 15 per cent reduction in the company’s newsroom and sales staff. The cuts will be implemented via retirements, retrenchments and outplacements, among other measures. The group-level job cuts were originally slated to be completed by 2018.

SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung told reporters at a media conference at Toa Payoh North that the group’s print outlets would remain intact. “The various newspapers are serving the needs of our clients and our readers and I think there are no plans to shut down or consolidate any of them.”

Deputy CEO Anthony Tan also spoke of the prospect of pooling resources such as photography, video and art in the interest of cutting costs.

“Essentially in the newsroom, (we) are trying to find cost savings through greater efficiency. One of the main features will be consolidating where the content input comes in. And this content will then feed many outputs, whether its the digital or print platforms. In those instances, it will require some work process restructuring,” he said.

Meanwhile, SPH announced that its full year net profit rose 32 per cent to about $350 million from the previous financial year. However, group operating revenue fell by 8.2 per cent to $1.03 billion due mainly to the disruption to the media business.

Advertising revenue fell by $103 million, or 16.9 per cent, while circulation revenue dropped by $8.7 million, or 5.1 per cent. In the property segment, revenue rose $2.8 million, or 1.2 per cent, bolstered by higher retail income from the Group’s retail assets.

In response to the news of job cuts, an SPH journalist, who declined to be named, told Yahoo News Singapore, “Everyone’s on shaky ground, particularly those who are mid-career. Of course I’m worried. Who at Toa Payoh North isn’t?”

-Additional reporting by Nicholas Yong

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