Mediaweek Asia: Weekly Roundup

Peter Olszewski rounds up Asia’s media news for the week in our Mediaweek Asia column

By Peter Olszewski

Thai public broadcaster’s profit slumps

Thai state-owned public broadcaster MCOT’s net profit of Baht 60 million (A$2.35 million) for this year’s third quarter was a 34% decrease compared to the same period last year, but a 64% increase compared to this year’s second quarter.

Revenue from TV was 43%, radio 24%, joint operations 11%, new media 5%, and digital terrestrial TV broadcasting network service 8%.

Third quarter TV revenue was Baht 446 million, a 29% decrease from the same period last year. Advertising generated 53% of the revenue.

Addressing the revenue decrease, MCOT said a series of proactive measures have been implemented, and new programming introduced in September – including Thai Premier League live matches and a Thai boxing reality show – is expected to boost ratings and generate more revenue in the future.

Turner launching Boomerang in Korea

Turner Broadcasting’s Boomerang, a companion channel to Cartoon Network, launches in Korea tomorrow, reaching 15 million households on major cable and IPTV platforms.

Phil Nelson, Turner International’s managing director for North Asia, said, “Boomerang’s arrival in Korea will be the perfect accompaniment to Cartoon Network, the country’s No.1 international kids’ channel. Turner has already made a firm commitment to the local animation industry over the years and this investment is set to continue.”

The channel will also feature Korean content and Turner will explore more local animation opportunities. Turner recently announced the network’s biggest ever animation project in Korea called Beat Monsters, a new co-production with Synergy Media and Studio Goindol.

Boomerang is already widely available in Southeast Asia and Australia.

Indonesian TV revenue forecast to grow

Indonesia’s TV market will increase by 4.5% this year to reach US$1.7 billion in net terms, according to Media Partners Asia research.

Figures include ad sales and pay-TV subscription revenues.

Last year’s TV market, including free-to-air and pay-TV, increased by just over 10%.

A weak rupiah, soft economy and uneven spending has affected the Indonesian ad market, which is expected to start picking up by the second half of next year. A return to “sustainable” double-digit growth is predicted by 2018.

New board members for MediaCorp

MediaCorp’s most recent addition to its board of directors is Wong Su-Yen, and with her appointment the board now comprises 11 members.

Wong is the chairman of Nera Telecommunications Ltd and chairman of Marsh & McLennan (Singapore).

She is also senior advisor to Oliver Wyman and to Mercer, where she previously held leadership positions.

Two days before the announcement about Wong, MediaCorp also appointed two other new members to its board of directors – Chan Yeng Kit, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defence, and Yap Chee Keong, non-executive chairman of fibre network owner and operator NetLink Trust.

AFP to open bureau in Pyongyang

French-based news agency AFP will open a branch office in the Pyongyang in a few months, according to the agency’s chairman Emmanuel Hoog.

He revealed this during a meeting with Park No-hwang, president and chief executive officer of Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.

He said, “We’re working on the opening of the bureau in Pyongyang… We expect to be able to do so in the next few months.”

Associated Press opened a news bureau in Pyongyang in January 2012.

Japan’s Kyodo News, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency and Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency also have bureaus in North Korea.

Mergers pending for Chinese newspapers

Chinese state-owned newspaper Ta Kung Pao, founded in 1902, will close 21 Chinese mainland news bureaus and sack about 100 staff, pending a merger with Hong Kong’s other major pro-Beijing daily Wen Wei Po, claims the Hong Kong Free Press which cites documents leaked online.

Apple Daily reports that Wen Wei Po will institute major staff cuts at its news bureaus in mainland China.

Ta Kung Pao’s print circ is estimated to be 400,000 copies, with 160,000 copies distributed in Hong Kong, 210,000 in mainland China, and 30,000 for the rest of the world. The online version daily visits are estimated to be 150,000.

Tammy Tan appointed South China Morning Post editor-in-chief

Tammy Tam will become the South China Morning Post first woman editor-in-chief when she takes up the position on 1 January, succeeding present editor-in-chef Wang Xiangwei who has been with the company for 20 years.

He will return home to Beijing but will continue to serve the Post as editorial adviser to Tam.

Tam has been deputy editor-in-chief since 2012, and SCMP Group CEO Robin Hu told staff, “Prior to joining the Post, Tammy has established herself as an outstanding TV news professional.  At a time when news consumption is at its highest, and yet shifting, Tammy’s experience over multiple mediums and familiarity with speed to market puts her in position to lead us into round-the-clock publishing.”

  • Hong Kong’s SCMP Group partnered with Debrett’s to publish the Debrett’s 100 Hong Kong, the first of the Debrett’s Global Series beyond Britain. Debrett’s hosted an invitation-only reception at the Hong Kong British Consulate-General on Tuesday to celebrate the high achievers on the new list.
  • The Financial Times has named Jamil Anderlini as its new Asia editor, replacing David Pilling, who moves to Africa. Anderlini has been FT’s Beijing bureau chief since 2011. Before that he was Beijing business correspondent for the South China Morning Post and chief editor for China Economic Review. He has also been promoted to assistant editor at FT.
  • Dan Molloy, former general manager at Kaplan Hong Kong, is the new Asia Pacific commercial director for the Bloomberg Media Group. He will be based in Hong Kong.
  • Siam Sport, Thailand’s largest publisher of sports and entertainment news, has signed cloud services provider for video, Brightcove to deliver its video on-demand for Siam Sport, Siam Dara and FHM – online properties that reach 6 million unique users per month on web and mobile.
  • Vietnam Television (VTV), the national television broadcaster launched 3 channels – VTV1 HD, VTV3 HD and VTV6 HD in Dolby Digital Plus. VTV and Dolby representatives said this makes VTV the first terrestrial broadcaster in Vietnam to broadcast 3 HD channels in Dolby Digital Plus.
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