Broadcaster Mediacorp to get new chairman

Mr Niam Chiang Meng, 59, has been on Mediacorp's board of directors since November 2016. Mr Ernest Wong, 72, helped improve the company's financial structure, among other contributions.
Mr Niam Chiang Meng, 59, has been on Mediacorp's board of directors since November 2016.
Mr Niam Chiang Meng, 59, has been on Mediacorp's board of directors since November 2016. Mr Ernest Wong, 72, helped improve the company's financial structure, among other contributions.
Mr Ernest Wong, 72, helped improve the company's financial structure, among other contributions.

Former civil servant Niam Chiang Meng to succeed Ernest Wong in role on April 21

Local broadcaster Mediacorp will have a new chairman in April.

Mr Niam Chiang Meng, 59, will will succeed Mr Ernest Wong, 72, as chairman on April 21, Mediacorp announced yesterday. Mr Niam has been on Mediacorp's board of directors since November 2016.

Mr Niam chairs the company's Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) Board Committee and is a member of its Executive Committee as well as its Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

Other than these roles, he is also chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and a board member of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

From 2011 to 2016, he was chairman of the Media Development Authority, now known as the Info-communications Media Development Authority.

He had a long career in the civil service: He was Permanent Secretary (Information, Communications and the Arts) and Permanent Secretary (National Population and Talent Division) in the Prime Minister's Office before retiring in 2016.

On his new appointment, Mr Niam said he is honoured and humbled, and looks forward to working with the Mediacorp team and its partners to ensure that "Mediacorp delivers great content to consumers and harnesses the opportunities created by digital disruption and new consumer trends".

"As we do this, Mediacorp will remain committed to its public service broadcasting responsibilities, a commitment underscored by the establishment of the new PSB Board Committee that I chair," he said.

He thanked his predecessor for his contributions and guidance, and said Mr Wong had drawn on his strong track record of corporate and financial management to position the company well for its next phase of growth and development in the digital age.

Mr Wong, who became chairman in July 2016, completes his two-year term with the board on April 20. He was Mediacorp's group chief executive officer from 2000 to 2005. Before that, he was United Overseas Bank's group president from 1990 to 2000.

Mr Wong's contributions to Mediacorp include improvements to the company's financial structure.

He also oversaw the appointment of Ms Tham Loke Kheng as CEO in September last year. During his tenure, Mediacorp assumed full ownership of Mediacorp TV Holdings, which owns Channels 5, 8 and U, Mediacorp Studios, as well as Mediacorp Press, which operates Today. Mediacorp bought minority shareholdings held by Singapore Press Holdings in the two entities in a transaction completed last year.

Mr Wong described Mr Niam as a natural choice for chairman and said he was confident the company would continue to thrive under him. "On my part, it is gratifying to know that what needed to be done has so far been done or set in motion," he said. "It's now timely for a younger chairman to take over."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline 'Broadcaster Mediacorp to get new chairman'. Print Edition | Subscribe