Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) on Sunday (Nov 20) announced the appointment of Alvin Tay as Managing Editor of English/Malay/Tamil Media group (EMTM) and Wong Wei Kong as Editor of The Business Times (BT) from Dec 1 this year. Both will report to Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of EMTM and Editor of The Straits Times.
The appointments are part of leadership succession in EMTM, which comprises the print and digital editions of The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian, and their respective student publications.
It also includes subsidiaries Tamil Murasu Ltd, which also publishes tabla!, the weekly for the Indian community; book publishing arm Straits Times Press Ltd; SPH Data Services Ltd which licenses the use of the Straits Times Index in partnership with the Singapore Exchange and FTSE-Russell Ltd; financial data company Shareinvestor; the two English stations of SPH Radio - Kiss92 and ONE FM 91.3; and SPH Golf (including SPH Pacom Ltd).
Mr Tay, 61, became BT's editor on Sep 1, 2002. In 2004, he revamped the business daily and turned around a downward trend in circulation and advertising revenue. He also grew BT.com's digital readership and revenue. In 2008, he converted BT Weekend from a broadsheet to a compact format to cater to readers on the move. In Oct 2014, the BT team undertook another major revamp and reorganised BT's content by sector rather than by geography to better capture sectoral and industry-wide trends.
In October this year, in celebration of BT's 40th anniversary, BT Weekend introduced a "newspaper magazine" for quality weekend reading. Today, BT publishes three successful magazine titles which are distributed free with the daily paper - SME Magazine, Wealth Magazine and the Luxe Magazine. It also organises four business awards catering to companies at different stages of development - Emerging Enterprises, Enterprise 50, the Singapore Corporate Awards (for listed companies) and the Singapore Business Awards, to recognise the best in corporate performance and governance.
Mr Fernandez said: "Alvin is a respected veteran in the newsroom with more than 30 years of experience with BT and ST. His wealth of knowledge and strong network of contacts will put him in good stead as he helps EMTM identify and seize new opportunities for synergy and growth of our products and adjacencies, as well as new businesses."
He said Alvin will be assisted by S Murali, 46, Deputy Managing Editor, who will move from The New Paper. Alvin will also work with Tan Ooi Boon, 48, EMTM's Senior Vice-President of Business Development.
Mr Fernandez added: "Wei Kong has been with BT for 18 years. Committed and driven, he is also a strong mentor and leader, and has the full support and trust of the BT newsroom. I have every confidence that he will grow BT from strength to strength."
Mr Tay said: "BT is run like a big family and I am grateful to all my colleagues for working with me to build BT to where it is today. It's in reasonably good shape financially, and I am confident that Wei Kong will bring it to even greater heights. Wei Kong has been groomed to assume the BT editorship for the past two years and I know he is ready."
He added: "As for my new assignment, I look forward to working with colleagues from other newsrooms to monetise the product offerings in the EMTM group, as well as develop new project collaborations between newspapers, in both print and digital."
Mr Wong, 48, said: "Under Alvin's editorship, BT made tremendous strides in growing its franchise, both as a news product on multiple platforms and as a brand. He has given us a very strong base to build on. Just as important, he has created a great atmosphere here, and done much to build a happy newsroom."
He added: "BT will continue to focus on growing our franchise. We do not want to underestimate what we're up against, but we don't want to underestimate our strengths too. Chief among these is a very talented newsroom, one that is together and with a can-do spirit. This gives us the quiet confidence that we can turn challenges into opportunities."