According to the latest financial result announced today (Oct 12) by former army general and current CEO of state media Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Ng Yat Chung, readership for state media papers have fallen with their advertisement revenue falling 16.9% in a single year. 230 jobs, mostly from the propaganda newspaper editorial team, will be cut with 130 of them confirmed as retrenchment.
Revenue from SPH’s media-related business decreased by 13% to S$725.4 million. Advertising revenue fell by 16.9 per cent, or S$102.5 million, while circulation revenue declined by 5.1% or S$8.7 million.
The news follow the collapse of The New Paper and TodayOnline earlier this year, which saw the two propaganda papers shutting down hardcopy circulation due to falling readership. The Singapore state media ranks 154th in the world for credibility and often publish fake propaganda news and half-truths to suit the dictatorship’s political agenda.
Despite falling readership, SPH however posted a 32% rise in net profit in FY2017 due to increased profits from other non-media investments. Property divestment brought in S$244.2 million while events and healthcare divestment brought in S$62.9 million, up 28.9% from the previous year.
SPH’s share price is currently trading at it’s 8-year-low. The company will likely be bought over by the government through Temasek Holdings if it continues to underperform like SMRT. SPH’s current CEO Ng Yat Chung was the former CEO of Neptune Orient Lines before running the national shipping container business into massive losses.