Mediaweek Asia: News, Sept 8 2017

Peter Olszewski rounds out the media news in the Asian market

Nikhil Kumar

Pagemasters unaffected by Singapore closure

The print closure of Singapore daily broadsheet Today at the end of this month means that 40 staff will be shed. The weekend edition of the paper had already gone fully digital in April. In October 2015, Today outsourced the bulk of its editorial production to Australia’s Pagemasters, which ran the Today operation out of its Ho Chi Minh City office. But the closure of the print edition doesn’t affect Pagemasters as it had already amicably parted company with Today earlier this year. “We discontinued our print production agreement with Today some months ago by mutual agreement,” Pagemasters managing director Peter Atkinson told Mediaweek.

Cambodia Daily closure could boost rivals

The dramatic globally bemoaned closure on Monday of the 24-year-old quarto-sized Cambodia Daily newspaper has immediately given some commercial relief to Cambodia’s two remaining English-language newspapers, the Khmer Times and the Phnom Penh Post. Before the Daily was shut down over an alleged US$6.3 million (A$7.9m) back tax bill, the three English-language dailies were scrambling for a share of the small Cambodia market.

The majority-Australia-owned Phnom Penh Post announced that Kay Kimsong, the editor-in-chief of the paper’s Khmer edition, would become group editor-in-chief, also in charge of the English edition. Days earlier, the paper’s CEO Alex Odom was removed, with Perth-based Bill Clough taking over the role.

Alan Parkhouse, the Australian editor-in-chief of the Khmer Times, while regretting the Daily closure said: “Khmer Times is only three years old and the readership has been growing steadily as the paper has slowly improved and now we expect our readership will grow even more as readers’ choices have narrowed to only two English-language papers.”

Australia’s Cambodian Broadcasting shuts Phnom Penh office

Melbourne-based The Cambodian Broadcasting Network has shut down its Phnom Penh office in fear of retaliation. The network carried the video interview that prompted the midnight arrest of Cambodia’s opposition leader Kem Sokha, ostensibly on treason charges. Ironically, the offending 13-minute video was old, covering a 2013 speech. “This is an old video clip that CBN filmed a long time ago,” the network’s president Cameron Sar said in a Facebook message. Sar, whose media organisation has addresses in Springvale South and Nunawading, said the Phnom Penh office may stay closed until next year due to fear.

iflix appoints mew head of Asia

Jonas Engwall (pictured), the founding CEO of RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network, has been appointed as head of Asia with iflix. He replaces David Goldstein, who shifts to a new role as non-executive chairman of iflix Asia, working closely with iflix Group CEO, Mark Britt.

Before the launch of RTL CBS in 2015, Engwall was vice president at RTL Group Asia, where he led expansion into India and Asia, including the launch of RTL’s Indian channel.

Thai digital ad spend surges

The Digital Advertising Association of Thailand forecasts that Thai digital ad spend this year will grow by 29% to 12.2 billion baht. In 2016 Thai digital ad spend increased 17% to 9.47 billion baht. The association also forecasts that the top four categories in terms of ad spend remain unchanged from last year, being motor vehicles, non-alcoholic drinks, skincare products and communications.

ABS-CBN leads Filipino media websites

ABS-CBN’s website is ranked as the Philippines’ biggest local media website, according to web traffic data and analytics sites Alexa and SimilarWeb.

The website logged 36 million users and over 1.7 billion page views as of the end of May this year, and at time of survey its page views numbers had passed the halfway mark of its 2016 record of three billion page views.

Thailand’s GMM cashed up

Thailand’s media giant GMM Grammy will sell a 50% stake in its TV and radio subsidiary GMM Channel Trading to Adelfos Co for 1 billion baht (A$37.7m). Adelfos is an investment firm owned by brothers Thapana and Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, the sons of Chang Beer tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

Asia News Network editors meet in talk-fest in Laos

Members of Asia News Network, including news editors from 24 leading media organisations in 20 countries, met for two days at the end of August to determine how to improve their news and information exchange. The meeting was hosted by Lao Press in Foreign Languages government agency, which publishes Vientiane Times, the Lao national English-language newspaper, and was supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Media Progamme Asia. ANN was established 17 years ago and claims to be the world’s largest and most active media alliance of its kind.

CNN hires new New Delhi bureau chief

The South Asia bureau chief for Time magazine, Nikhil Kumar (pictured top), has been hired by CNN International as its New Delhi bureau chief. Previously Kumar was a senior editor based in New York, editing and managing Time’s international editions, as well as foreign coverage in Time’s US edition.

Mediaweek Asia In Brief

• Mediacorp in Singapore is launching a new business unit, Mediacorp’s Creators Network.

• Korea’s leading media conglomerate, CJ E&M, launched its tvN Movies in Southeast Asia at the beginning of this year, and now has expanded regionally by launching tvN Movies on PCCW’s OTT video service, Viu, available in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

• CNBC’s long-running program Managing Asia was relaunched in May and has now started to air a series of special editions focusing on young business leaders “who have disrupted their respective industries”. The editions began last month and included Catcha Group’s Patrick Grove, who is also co-founder and chairman of iflix.

Singapore Women’s Weekly, published by SPH Magazines, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and in October will honour 18 inspiring women at its annual Great Women of Our Time 2017 Awards.

• Singapore-based sports media agency One Championship has appointed Jack Lim as chief commercial officer with a brief to unite the company’s revenue streams and help stimulate growth. Lim resigned as Mediacorp’s chief commercial officer earlier this year.

• Thailand’s BEC-Tero Music has teamed with IMIMobile in Myanmar to provide a streaming service through the Ooredoo mobile network for music produced by BEC-Tero, Sony Music, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and AVEX Group. BEC-Tero Music has already successfully launched in Cambodia.

• A new editorial segment, Staying Informed, launches on all CNN International’s feeds in Asia Pacific to give audiences, especially business travellers, fast and easy access to the top stories of the day.

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