Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is merging free sheet My Paper and paid daily The New Paper (TNP) to form a revamped TNP.
The new TNP will be launched on Dec 1, and available for free from Monday to Saturday at existing distribution points, including MRT stations, SPH said yesterday. The paper will also be available online.
Mr Warren Fernandez, editor- in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/ Tamil Media group, noted that TNP currently has daily average sales of more than 60,000, which means that over 60,000 people are prepared to pay 70 cents each day for the paper.
"Merging TNP with My Paper, making it free and increasing its circulation to up to 300,000 copies, is a bold decision to serve our readers with a strong product and with revamped content," he said.
"TNP has a long tradition of remaking itself to stay attuned to readers' interests and needs. That's part of its DNA. So now, we're making it new again, and planning a product that we believe both readers and advertisers will find appealing," he added.
TNP hit news-stands on July 26, 1988. It has specialised in local scoops and, over nearly three decades, has been known for its dedicated coverage of crime and courts, human interest issues and sports.
TNP editor Dominic Nathan yesterday said there will be some difficult conversations with colleagues as the paper makes the transition, but added: "The team will come through this tougher and ready to write the next chapter of TNP history. TNP staff have overcome many challenges in the paper's 28-year history. When the bell goes for the next round on Dec 1, I know they will come out fighting."
My Paper was launched on June 1, 2006 as the first Chinese free sheet here, then relaunched on Jan 8, 2008 as the first bilingual newspaper in Singapore.
It offers wide coverage on home and world news, business, sports, lifestyle and entertainment, in two languages within a single paper.
My Paper (English) editor Rahul Pathak said the merger will make for a winning combination.
"When you combine TNP and My Paper, you get a strong and very readable product with a wide reach. I think that both readers and advertisers will be pleased."