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MediaCorp and SPH complete staff rationalisation exercise

Singapore, 7 December 2004 – MediaCorp and Singapore Press Holdings (“SPH”) have completed the staff rationalisation exercise following their agreement to merge their mass market TV and free newspaper operations.

The exercise, lasting about two months, involved the selection of staff needed to run the merged TV and Studio operations in which MediaCorp owns 80 per cent and SPH 20 per cent.

It was undertaken by a Manpower Synergy Committee chaired by MediaCorp independent board member, Mr Soo Kok Leng, and comprised heads of the Human Resources Divisions, Mr Wee Leong How of SPH and Mr Chua Hoe Sing of MediaCorp.

The Committee reviewed about 1,200 staff from both SPH MediaWorks (SPHMW) and two companies in the MediaCorp group, namely MediaCorp TV (MCTV) and MediaCorp Studios (MSD).

The rationalisation affects a total of 429 staff from SPH, the majority of whom are from SPHMW. Of these, 200 will be transferred to MediaCorp, 97 will be absorbed by SPH and 132 will be retrenched.

Besides the rationalisation of MCTV and MSD´s manpower undertaken by the Committee, MediaCorp separately reviewed its own staffing level with a view to enhancing efficiency further. Altogether, MediaCorp will be releasing 72 staff from across the group.

On the rationalisation of the merged TV and Studio operations, Mr Soo Kok Leng, Chairman of the Committee, said: “We evaluated staff from both parties on the principle of ‘best person for the job´, that is, people who can adapt, respond, anticipate and deliver to meet the future needs of the merged businesses. The individual´s performance is one of the key assessment criteria that we used.

“The process was open and transparent, with both sides taking a consultative approach at all times. I´m happy to report that the Committee has done its best in ensuring that the process has been fair, rigorous and thorough.”

Mr Wee Leong How, Executive Vice President of SPH’s Human Resources Division, said: "I am satisfied that the Committee has done its best to save the maximum number of jobs. We have managed to secure jobs in the joint venture company for as many MediaWorks employees as we could. Separately, SPH has also managed to absorb almost a quarter of the affected MediaWorks and SPH TV News staff, who will be redeployed to other parts of the Group. "

Added Mr Chua Hoe Sing, Executive Vice President, Group Human Resource and Corporate Services of MediaCorp: "We had taken some time to conduct the review to ensure that the process was thorough, and that due consideration was given so that the right job goes to the right person."

The National Trades Union Congress has formed a task force under its Assistant Secretary General Mr Seng Han Thong which is facilitating the consultations between union and management on manpower rationalisation issues at the two media groups.

Issued by MediaCorp (Co. Regn No. 199201312E)
and Singapore Press Holdings Limited (Co. Regn. No. 198402868E)

For more information, please contact:

Genevieve Woo
Director, Group Communications
Tel: 6357 5656
Fax: 6251 5628

Singapore Press Holdings
Irene Ngoo
Assistant Vice President
Corporate Relations
Tel: 6319 1216
Fax: 6319 8150

About MediaCorp
MediaCorp features prominently in the development of Singapore´s broadcasting history. With more than 68 years of radio and 41 years of television experience, MediaCorp is Singapore´s largest and most established broadcaster with a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, Radio, Entertainment Productions, Movie Productions, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services. We are committed to service excellence and leadership in the media industry and to remain as The Choice in Singapore and the region.

About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet, TV and radio. It publishes 14 newspapers in the four official languages and 63 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications while the online editions of its six main dailies enjoy some 120 million pageviews a month. SPH operates two popular free-to-air TV channels, Channel U in Chinese and Channel i in English, as well as two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media.