Today newspaper staff could face retrenchment as print edition ends to go fully online

So, it's like Channel News Asia?

By Belmont Lay | August 25, 2017

Another one bites the dust.

Today newspaper will become a fully digital media outlet.

End-September 2017

The last print edition of the newspaper will go out at end-September 2017.

In a news release on Aug. 25, 2017, Today is touted as the first newspaper in Singapore to pivot to a fully-digital future.

This news has been some time coming as Today had stopped its weekend print edition since April 2017.

Today was launched in 2000.

Possible retrenchment

The discontinuation of Today‘s print edition will see about 40 roles becoming redundant.

Mediacorp said it will explore options to redeploy the staff in these positions to other roles within the company. Where this is not possible, eligible staff will be offered severance packages and outplacement support.

Mediacorp said it thanks all staff of the Today team for their contributions.

Journalism dying

In December 2016, gossip tabloid The New Paper merged with free sheet My Paper and the combined product has been distributed for free since then.

Mediacorp said it will restructure the Today business to cope with the new digital-first media landscape.

Mediacorp said in its news release: “Today started preparing for its strategic digital pivot three years ago, while staying focused on producing quality content. In April 2017, Today launched a fully digital weekend edition. Recognising that readers increasingly want their news on the go and encouraged by the growth in engagement, Mediacorp is taking the next step, turning the weekday editions fully digital too.”

“As advertising revenues follow audiences to digital platforms, Mediacorp has also strengthened its commercial offerings to enable advertisers to reach their clients digitally.”

The announcement of the print edition of Today ceasing was released together with news that Singapore Press Holdings was going to divest its stakes in Mediacorp TV and Press.

And as part of the deal announced on Friday, Mediacorp will also stop publishing any soft copy or computer-readable format of Today that has the look and feel of a hardcopy version of the newspaper, for a period of five years.

In 2005, SPH bought stakes in the two Mediacorp entities — 20 percent in Mediacorp TV and 40 percent in Mediacorp Press — to stem losses incurred by both companies as a result of the liberalisation in 2000.

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Top photo via Today

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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