ST goes on air with radio tie-up

STRAITS Times readers can now get up-to-date news on the go by tuning in to local radio stations Kiss92 and Hot FM91.3.

Updates of the latest news drawn from The Straits Times newsroom will be aired by the stations' DJs.

In the past, radio DJs picked content from the day's paper, said Kiss92 presenter and senior producer Arnold Gay.

But Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez suggested that the newsroom send the stations the latest headlines, updating them through the day.

He explained: "The ST newsroom is now a multimedia operation. So it made sense to also get the latest news out on our SPH radio stations. Those who are driving, or on the go, have another way to stay updated.

"We want to give people the news any time, anywhere and any way they want it."

The stations are run by SPH UnionWorks, which is part- owned by The Straits Times' parent company Singapore Press Holdings.

The radio news updates were introduced late last month, under a trial, and kicked off in earnest this week.

Mr Gay, a former Straits Times journalist, said the new arrangement works because the stations have a similar target audience to the paper.

"The Straits Times is family oriented, and the profiles of our listeners are in line with the newspaper's readers... The newsroom has a sense of what the good top stories are," he added.

But the DJs still exercise discretion over the news items that are presented.

"We do drop some stories and add those that we think would be applicable to our listeners, such as news from the entertainment world," said Mr Gay.

It is a win-win situation for both parties, he added.

Listeners have noticed that the headlines presented are being refreshed through the day. Ms Marilyn Peh, a 23-year-old public relations executive who tunes in to Kiss92 for eight hours every weekday, said: "It's like we're getting news as it happens."

mellinjm@sph.com.sg