SPH to cut over 70 jobs in its media group amid print decline and grim macroeconomic outlook
Singapore Press Holdings will embark on a consolidation exercise which will result in a 5% reduction in staff in its media group. 130 people will be affected by the retrenchments and over 70 will be retrenched according to a report in Today Online. The staff redundancies are expected to be complete by the first quarter of FY 2019-2020 at a retrenchment cost of approximately $8 million.
The staff cutbacks come amid a sustained decline in revenue from both print circulation as well as advertising. Announcing its Financial Year 2019 results, SPH said, “Revenue from the media segment fell by $78.9 million or 12% to $576.9 million as total print advertisement revenue decreased by 14.9% or $57 million and total circulation revenue declined by $11 million or 7.3%.”
SPH’s digital business was on a growth trajectory. But with a 19.3% increase in the number of digital copies and a mere 6.6% increase in digital advertising revenue, it was not enough to stem the decline, considering the bulk of circulation was still accounted for by print.
SPH has announced a consolidated approach to provide advertisers more effective marketing solutions. This will entail a restructuring of its media solutions and magazine business to enable integrated selling. Its newspaper and magazine titles will be sold together across print, digital, voice and outdoor formats. The new approach could allow a marketer who wanted to reach a mass audience to dive deeper into a niche like fashion or technology via one of SPH’s magazine properties. It could also help advertisers initially drawn in by a special interest audience to spread their message to the wider network of SPH consumers.