'Three-year plan' sees Today digital-only in buyback deal

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Mediacorp says the decision to shut Singapore free daily Today is part of a "digital pivot" strategy begun three years ago.

Today went fully-digital at weekends in April, and will cease print publication altogether at the end of September.

The announcement coincides with an agreement to buy back the 40 per cent interest held since 2005 by rival Singapore Press Holdings from its transfer of a television channel to Mediacorp and the merger its Streats free newspaper with Today.

Mediacorp says completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approval and scheduled for the end of next month. Mediacorp plans to restructure the Today business to "better face the new digital-first media landscape" and is shedding 40 staff. The company says it will explore options to redeploy the staff in these positions to other roles within the company. "Where this is not possible, eligible staff will be offered severance packages and outplacement support," says a spokesperson.

As advertising revenues follow audiences to digital platforms, Mediacorp says it has also strengthened commercial offerings - which include TV and radio in an integrated multiplatform marketing solution - to enable advertisers to reach their clients digitally.

"Mediacorp thanks all staff of the Today team for their contributions," the company says.

Mediacorp was Singapore's broadcasting pioneer, with radio in 1936 and TV in 1963. Today it has more than 50 products and brands in four languages - English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil - reaching out to "virtually all" adults in Singapore weekly.

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