Singapore media merger of 2004
Singapore Press Holdings, the country's main newspaper publishing company, set up a television arm in mid 2000 called SPH MediaWorks to provide competition for MediaCorp, which dominated the media industry in Singapore. Instead, the rival channels were locked in a ratings battle, leading some politicians to comment that the local market was not big enough to have two broadcasting companies. By 2004, SPH MediaWorks had raked up some $44.5 million in losses. In September 2004, SPH officially announced that MediaWorks will be merging with MediaCorp's TV division.
Many MediaWorks were transferred over while others were retrenched. About 400 staff were affected by the merger.
SPH MediaWorks Channel i, the English language channel, ceased broadcasting. SPH MediaWorks Channel U was renamed MediaCorp Channel U and became a complementary channel to MediaCorp's Chinese language channel Channel 8. A number of artistes and news anchors/presenters were transferred, many of whom were former employees of MediaCorp and its predecessor the Television Corporation of Singapore.
Besides television, several newspaper operations were also merged and are managed by MediaCorp's newspaper division MediaCorp Press Ltd. In return, SPH became a 40% shareholder, mainly in Today, MediaCorp's main newspaper.
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