SPH appoints new managing editor and BT editor

Mr Tay (far left) will work with newsrooms in the EMTM group to grow their product offerings, as well as develop new projects to boost the group's financial position. Mr Wong said The Business Times will continue to focus on growing its franchise.
Mr Tay (far left) will work with newsrooms in the EMTM group to grow their product offerings, as well as develop new projects to boost the group's financial position. Mr Wong said The Business Times will continue to focus on growing its franchise.PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

Move is part of leadership succession in its English/Malay/Tamil Media group

Singapore Press Holdings yesterday announced the appointment of Mr Alvin Tay as managing editor of the English/Malay/Tamil Media group (EMTM) and Mr Wong Wei Kong as editor of The Business Times (BT) from Dec 1.

They will report to Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of EMTM and editor of The Straits Times. The appointments are part of leadership succession in EMTM, which includes the print and digital editions of ST, BT, The New Paper, Berita Harian, and their respective student publications.

Mr Tay, 61, became BT's editor on Sept 1, 2002. Said Mr Fernandez: "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 stand him in good stead as he helps EMTM identify and seize new opportunities for synergy and growth of our products, as well as new businesses."

Mr Tay will be assisted by Mr S. Murali, 46, deputy managing editor, who will move from The New Paper.

Mr Tay will also work with Mr Tan Ooi Boon, 48, EMTM's senior vice-president of business development.

On BT's new editor, Mr Fernandez said: "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 revamped BT in 2004 and turned around a downward trend in circulation and advertising revenue. He also grew its 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 October 2014, the BT team undertook another major revamp and reorganised BT's content by sector rather than by geography, to better capture sectoral and industrywide trends.

Last month, to celebrate BT's 40th anniversary, BT Weekend introduced a "newspaper magazine" for quality weekend reading.

Today, BT publishes three successful magazine titles 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, to recognise the best in corporate performance and governance.

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 take 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."

Said Mr Wong, 48: "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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2016, with the headline 'SPH appoints new managing editor and BT editor'. Print Edition | Subscribe