SINGAPORE: MediaCorp CEO rules out merging with SPH or giving up Today

A merger between rival media companies Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp is not on the cards

The Straits Times
Monday, December 8, 2003

By Audrey Tan

A merger between rival media companies Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp is not on the cards, MediaCorp chief executive Ernest Wong has said.

And MediaCorp has no intention of giving up its newspaper, Today, he said.

Speaking at the Star Awards on Sunday, Mr Wong said he did not understand why there was so much speculation about a merger.

The problem, he added, was not competition in the media.

'It is TV competition which is the problem. So we have to fix the TV industry and not the whole media industry,' he said.

Despite SPH chairman Lim Chin Beng's comments last week that SPH saw television as a strategic part of its overall media strategy, Mr Wong said MediaCorp was 'open to discussion' if SPH intended to sell its TV division, MediaWorks.

He added: 'MediaCorp is financially very sound. We made $134 million last year. Our operating profit this year is likely to be much higher than the previous year. Our company has no debt, no bank borrowing. We are cash-rich.'

When contacted by The Straits Times on Monday, MediaCorp declined to provide a full set of its results for the financial year ended March 31. As the company is not listed on the stock exchange, it is not required to publicly disclose its results.