The Straits Times (ST) executive editor and popular columnist Sumiko Tan has been promoted to managing editor of the English/Malay/Tamil Media (EMTM) group at media giant Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
EMTM editor-in-chief and ST editor Warren Fernandez, 51, made the announcement on Monday (23 October) in an internal memo to SPH staff seen by Yahoo News Singapore. Tan, 53, will retain her role as executive editor and also serve as acting editor-in-chief when Fernandez is away.
“She will assist me in spearheading the move towards greater collaboration across our newsrooms. She will oversee the new EMTM Digital and Visual teams, with a view to ensuring that these serve all our newsrooms well,” said Fernandez.
The EMTM group comprises the print and digital operations of ST, several newspapers and their respective student publications. It also includes book publishing arm Straits Times Press and SPH’s two English radio stations.
Tan will replace EMTM managing editor Alvin Tay, who is retiring, from 1 November. Tay, a former editor of The Business Times (BT), assumed his current role last November. Tan became ST executive editor last July.
In another key appointment, deputy news editor Li Xueying, who is in her 30s, will become political editor. “Our goal must be (to) produce reliable and credible political news as well as thoughtful and insightful commentaries on Singapore politics and policy affairs,” said Fernandez.
The appointments are part of a raft of leadership changes announced by Fernandez, in the wake of SPH accelerating the process of cutting 230 jobs from its work force by end-2017. The first round of retrenchments took place this month and attracted flak when some affected employees were locked out of their work accounts before being informed of their retrenchments.
Both SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung and deputy CEO Anthony Tan apologised to SPH staff five days later for the “serious lapse”.
Separately, Fernandez also announced that The Business Times and ST business desk will form a combined editorial team. It will supply business content to ST, BT and a new financial radio station to be launched in December.
The new team will be led by BT editor Wong Wei Kong, 49, who also retains his current role.