Mediaweek’s Peter Olszewski rounds up the latest media news from the Asian market: Friday May 25, 2018.
Outdoor Channel Asia to launch in Australia on Seven
Outdoor Channel Asia has announced landmark distribution gains and launches in multiple countries, including its first entry into Australia. The channel has signed distribution deals with Easy TV in the Philippines, Click TV in Papua New Guinea, Cookie TV in Myanmar, PEO TV in Sri Lanka, and Indonesia’s Oona TV.
Outdoor Channel also lands for the first time in Australia through a multimedia content agreement with Seven network and its OTT platform 7Plus. Outdoor Channel-branded premium original productions will initially be available on demand on 7Plus with an expanded offering to launch later in this year. Outdoor Channel Asia is part of Multi Channels Asia and MCA managing director Gregg Creevey said, “Outdoor Channel continues to grow and cut through with a carefully curated proposition around Real, Life, Adventure.”
Former Sydneysider to head Reuters bureau in Shenzhen
Former Sydneysider Sue-Lin Wong, who began her education at Sydney Girls High School and began her career in 2009 as a parliamentary assistant in Canberra, and is now Reuters South China Correspondent, will head Reuters new bureau in Shenzhen, China, slated to open late this month. Sue-Lin worked as media liaison for Sky News Australia in Canberra for 10 months up to November 2014 before joining Reuters in 2014. She has been based in Beijing since late 2015, covering economics and general news. Reuters said its new bureau reflects its ongoing commitment to reporting on China thoroughly and the establishment of the Shenzhen bureau recognises the pivotal role of the Pearl River Delta region in the global technology industry.
New Phnom Penh Post owner blasts former journalists
In what the South China Morning Post described as “a fiery press conference”, Siva Kumar Ganapathy, the new Malaysian owner of the Phnom Penh Post blasted former Post journalists as “careless, malicious and defamatory” in their reporting of his purchase of the paper from Perth miner, Bill Clough. He also brushed off suggestions of a wide media crackdown in Cambodia and strongly denied links to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
This contrasts last week with Media Watch’s somewhat skewed alarmist report linking the sale to a press freedom crackdown. Meanwhile, back in Phnom Penh, the Post publishes on, with the Khmer staff (none of whom resigned) obviously taking up the slack left by the foreigners’ walkout, and covering stories such as large protests against land evictions for a sugar company owned by a government senator.
Major Malaysian company warns of loss
Media Chinese International (MCI), the Kuala Lumpur-based international Chinese language media company, has issued a profit warning and is expecting to record a loss for the financial year ended March 31, 2018, after a profit last year. The company said the expected loss was “mainly attributable to a provision for the impairment of goodwill in relation to a business unit of the group”. The company has five daily newspapers in 13 editions, and three newspapers with a total daily circulation of about 1 million copies. It also owns Life Magazines, the largest Chinese language magazine publisher in Malaysia, and is the major shareholder of the One Media Group.
New Philippines manager for Turner Asia Pacific
Turner Asia Pacific has appointed Jia Salindong-Du as country manager for the Philippines, and her job will be to work with Turner’s Kids and Entertainment business in the country, including developing local content, creating greater consumer experiences and expanding the brands’ fan base. She will also support ad sales, and operate in tandem with the consumer products and licensing team for Cartoon Network. In addition, she will be responsible for the channel distribution of Turner brands locally, including CNN International, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Warner TV. She previously worked at Procter & Gamble on the beauty and hair care products to launch and build brands such as Olay, Rejoice and Safeguard.
Omni Channels partners with Indonesian OTT aggregator
Omni Channels Asia, a new joint venture between LA’s TV4 Entertainment and Multi Channels Asia in Singapore, has partnered with Indonesia’s mobile-centric OTT aggregator Oona to launch up to 30 new genre-focused channels in Indonesia in 2018-2019. Oona has already launched the first eight channels this month, and the Oona Indonesia rollout comes only two months after Omni Channels Asia launched in Asia. The new channels service a wide range of interests and include home-focused Inside-Outside House & Garden, fishing hub Gone Fishing, music destination All Guitar Network and luxury aquatic channel Nautical Mile.
Controversy over sacking of Bangkok Post editor
The editor of the Bangkok Post, Umesh Pandey, was dismissed last week, but there is dissension among media outlets about reason for the exit. The Guardian said Umesh, who became editor in July 2017, was axed because he refused to tone down coverage of the actions of the military government. The Guardian quoted a written statement by Umesh that read, “When asked to tone down I did not budge and was blunt in letting those who make decisions know that I would rather lose my position than bow my head.” But Khaosod English ran a headline saying Umesh was dismissed for mismanagement, not Junta pressure. Bangkok Post deputy CEO Nha-Kran Loahavilai said, “In November, I personally proposed removing him because his behaviour was unfit to be the Bangkok Post editor. But the board gave him a second chance, so I let him stay.”
Mediacorp optimises video buys
Singapore’s Mediacorp has introduced a new way of optimising video buys based on blended cost-per-viewer across screens. The company says the blended model provides optimal reach at the most cost-effective rate for its TV channels and OTT platform Toggle, and said the solution was developed with Mindshare and Unilever. The company can now unify linear and non-linear media buying by leveraging its media data points. Javed Jafri, channel communication manager of Unilever, said, “While TV remains a credible source of advertising, we need to adapt our multivideo solution to meet the changing consumer habits.” Melissa Tang, managing director of Mindshare Singapore, said, “Consumers are multiscreening, so the industry needs to adapt its approach to TV and digital video planning.”
Mediacorp creates new marketing group
Mediacorp has appointed media veteran Debra Soon as chief marketing officer and Irene Lim as chief customer officer, effective June 1.The company said it is creating an integrated marketing organisation that brings together the majority of its marketing and communications personnel under the leadership of Debra Soon. Karen Yew, head of brand and communications, and Christina Chua, head of partnerships and marketing, will report to Soon, whose career at Mediacorp spans over 20 years, after a start as a broadcast journalist. Soon oversaw an initiative to reengage radio listeners and keep Mediacorp radio stations in pole position through successive Nielsen radio listening surveys.
Pictured top: Debra Soon and Debra Soon
Aussie rappers can audition for China
Australian rappers will soon be able to audition for China’s online video platform iQIYI’s new reality hip hop show, The Rap of China, via the aptly called The Rap of China Global Audition. The second season of 2017’s Chinese hip hop music show will be making a comeback under a new title in China, after the abrupt removal of a number of Chinese rappers from entertainment shows and several hip hop works from Chinese streaming platforms sparked rumors that authorities in the country had implemented a ban on hip hop culture.
Mediaweek Asia In Brief
• BBC Studios has appointed Geo Lee as senior vice president and general manager, Northeast Asia. He will be based in the Seoul office and oversee BBC Studios in South Korea and Japan, reporting to David Weiland, executive vice president, Asia. Geo previously worked at Amazon Japan, Hulu, Twentieth Century Fox and Tsutaya in Japan.
• Lifetime (Southeast Asia), a Singapore-based TV channel skewed at female audiences and owned by A+E Networks Asia – a joint-venture between A+E Networks and Astro Holdings – will broadcast the 10th season of MasterChef Australia premiering on June 18 and running Monday to Friday evenings.
• Facebook has appointed former ESPN head of Southeast Asia Joyee Biswas as head of APAC Sports Partnerships. Singapore-based Biswas will oversee Facebook’s partnerships with Asia Pacific-based leagues, teams, athletes and sports media. Before ESPN, Biswas was managing director of Eleven Sports Network in Asia.
• Singapore Press Holdings has appointed Gaurav Sachdeva to the new role of chief product officer to drive the company’s digital offerings. Glen Francis has also been appointed as chief technology officer, and he will oversee the technologies and digital capabilities of SPH’s businesses, first focusing first focus on the digital technology team, responsible for digital media entities such as The Straits Times, The Business Times and Lianhe Zaobao.