SPH wins tender for new English, Mandarin radio stations

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Radio has won the tender for two new radio stations. One will be in English and the other in Mandarin, and they will be launched in December.

The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) launched a public tender in June last year for proposals to operate radio stations on the two frequencies, FM 89.3, which is vacant, and FM 96.3, formerly occupied by Expat Radio 96.3FM.

One of the stations will be Singapore's first English business and personal finance radio station. According to an IMDA statement, the station is targeted at PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen), financial market participants as well as a general audience, and is aimed at "raising financial literacy of listeners".

The station will have content from two SPH newspapers, The Business Times as well as The Straits Times.

It will also work with an SPH subsidiary, financial portal ShareInvestor, which has one of the largest investor relations networks in Asia.

SPH Radio currently has three stations - One FM 91.3, which plays mainstream and classic rock; Kiss92, which airs adult contemporary music; and UFM 100.3, which plays Chinese pop.

The other new radio station will be a Chinese infotainment station for active seniors aged 50 and above, said an SPH Radio spokesman.

"Through content tie-ups with community organisations and platform partners, the station will provide audiences with a wealth of trusted news information across media and empower them to discover and lead an active, meaningful lifestyle while accompanied by the memorable tunes of the golden 80s and 90s," added the spokesman.

The station will include content from SPH's Chinese newspapers Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News, and will also produce programmes with partners such as telco StarHub.

The SPH Radio spokesman added that the broadcaster "will be on the lookout for new talents who can deliver something different and unique to the radio landscape here".

SPH Radio currently has three stations - One FM 91.3, which plays mainstream and classic rock; Kiss92, which airs adult contemporary music; and UFM 100.3, which plays Chinese pop music.

Mr Patrick Daniel, chairman of SPH Radio and deputy chief executive officer of SPH, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the licences to operate two more radio stations in Singapore. They will cater to new listener segments and increase the vibrancy of the local radio industry with their unique positioning and programming. Together with our three existing radio stations, we will deliver engaging and enriching content for both our listeners and advertisers."

Besides SPH Radio, Singapore has two other radio broadcasters - Mediacorp and Safra Radio. Mediacorp runs 12 stations in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, while Safra Radio runs Power 98FM, an English station, and 88.3Jia FM, a bilingual station that plays both Mandarin and English songs.

IMDA received nine proposals from SPH Radio, Mediacorp, Rex Cinema, HT Overseas and Asia Today Singapore.

The unsuccessful tenders included Rex Cinema's proposal for a 24-hour Tamil station, HT Overseas' pitch for a 24-hour Hindi, Bengali and Tamil station playing music from Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood films, and Mediacorp's proposal for a 24-hour not-for-profit Chinese dialect station targeting listeners above 55.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2017, with the headline 'SPH wins tender for new English, Mandarin radio stations'. Print Edition | Subscribe