Mediacorp is buying back two minority stakes in its television and newspaper businesses owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), and announced that it will cease print publication of the free tabloid Today, eliminating about 40 jobs.
The purchase, valued at SG$18 million (US$13.2 million), includes SPH’s:
- 20 per cent stake in Mediacorp TV Holdings, which owns Channels 5, 8 and U and Mediacorp Studios; and
- 40 per cent stake in Mediacorp Press, which operates Today.
SPH bought the stakes in 2005. At that time, SPH transferred a TV channel to Mediacorp and took a 20 per cent stake in Mediacorp TV Holdings. SPH merged its free newspaper Streats with Today, and invested in a 40 per cent stake of Mediacorp Press.
Mediacorp will restructure the Today business to "better face the new digital-first media landscape", the company said. The publication launched a digital weekend edition in April, and the weekday editions will go fully digital in September, according to Mediacorp.
The discontinuation of Today's print edition will make about 40 roles "redundant", Mediacorp said, adding that it will "explore options to redeploy the staff in these positions to other roles within the company" and offer severance packages and outplacement support in cases where that's not possible.