Darker days ahead for The Sun, Malaysian Reserve and Malay MailJanuary 8, 2018
The Malaysian media industry is going through tougher times, starting 2018 with various cost cutting plans and the possibility of a changing of ownership in some of the local dailies.
An industry source said The Sun’s owner, Berjaya Media Berhad, which is mulling delisting from the local bourse, has been looking for a buyer for sometime now but without success.
The Sun’s owner, Berjaya Media Berhad, is eyeing a delisting exercise for the company from Malaysia’s stock market, a source told WFTV in September last year.
Rumours have it that The Sun is counting on a consolidation exercise recently launched.
The Sun digital
The company is also mulling shutting down its printing arm in order to cut costs and to print a weekly edition instead of the daily which would be turned into a fully online-digital unit, but has put this option on hold, thus saving the printing workforce from unemployment.
However, we were told a decision is imminent from the management on the move to digital while it may reduce the number of print for its newsprint versions.
The paper recently opted for a consolidation exercise, in which it revived its weekend paper in an effort to gain more traction and online advertising sales. The weekend edition is in the e-paper format.
Malay Mail cost cutting
The Malay Mail, one of the oldest title in the market which celebrated its 121st anniversary in December last year, is currently undergoing a cost cutting exercise with a merger of its online section with the print section.
However, there are talks that the paper will soon cut its print operations completely and use its printing establishment to outsource for printing jobs.
The company did not replace some of the high-profile editors who recently left the establishment for greener pastures or simply retired, thus saving on the recruitment of new staffers.
It has also adopted a policy of no recruitment for any of the current staff members who’d leave the company.
The new leadership now the responsibility to make it or break it, WFTV was told. The company has a new ‘digital marketeer’ who is responsible for the entire online and print divisions advertising arm.
But with advertising drying up almost completely these days, it is hard to see where the paper is heading next unless it presses on with further cuts in the circulation department (if it closes its print division soon) and in other segments of the newspaper.
The other business daily clinging on
There are also persistent rumours that the other business daily, The Malaysian Reserve, is mulling a voluntary separation scheme. But it has already started a tightening of its belt, imposing strict cost cutting in the process.
There are also talks of the newspaper looking for an elusive buyer, however, talks on the street are that the paper has a very steep selling price.
The newspaper comes with The New York Times Asia edition which is inserted into the newsprint daily version, it has revamped its website recently making it more interactive and has a ‘video’ division.
But it is the direction of the paper in generating sufficient revenue in these times of slow ads that will make it or break it, WFTV was told.