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SPH announces leadership changes

Alvin Tay is managing editor of EMTM group; Wong Wei Kong is new BT editor

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Mr Tay (left) has been BT's editor since Sept 1, 2002, while Mr Wong joined the paper in 1998 as a correspondent during the Asian Financial Crisis.

Singapore

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) on Sunday announced that The Business Times (BT) editor Alvin Tay has been appointed managing editor of the English/Malay/Tamil Media (EMTM) group, while Wong Wei Kong will take over as BT editor from Dec 1, 2016. Both will report to Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of EMTM and editor of The Straits Times.

As BT's editor since Sept 1, 2002, Mr Tay's contributions to the paper have been immense. In 2004, he revamped the business daily and turned around a downward trend in circulation and advertising revenue. He also grew BT.com's digital readership and revenue. In 2008, he converted BT Weekend from a broadsheet to a compact format to cater to readers on the move.

BT also publishes three successful magazine titles which are distributed free with the daily paper - The SME Magazine, Wealth and the Luxe magazine.

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Mr Fernandez said: "Alvin is a respected veteran in the newsroom with more than 30 years of experience with BT and ST. His wealth of knowledge and strong network of contacts will put him in good stead as he helps EMTM identify and seize new opportunities for synergy and growth of our products and adjacencies, as well as new businesses."

He said that Mr Tay will be assisted by S Murali, 46, deputy managing editor, who will move from The New Paper. Mr Tay will also work with Tan Ooi Boon, 48, EMTM's senior vice-president of business development.

On his new role, Mr Tay said: "I look forward to working with colleagues from other newsrooms to monetise the product offerings in the EMTM group, as well as develop new project collaborations between newspapers, in both print and digital."

He had only good things to say about his successor and the BT newsroom. "BT is run like a big family and I am grateful to all my colleagues for working with me to build BT to where it is today. It's in reasonably good shape financially, and I am confident that Wei Kong will bring it to even greater heights. Wei Kong has been groomed to assume the BT editorship for the past two years and I know he is ready," said Mr Tay.

Mr Wong joined the paper in 1998 as a correspondent during the Asian Financial Crisis. He became associate news editor in 2006 and became news editor six years later. His most recent move was in 2014 to assume the role of executive editor.

He played a key role in The Business Times' major revamp in 2014, where the paper reorganised content by sector rather than geography to better capture industry-wide trends. In October this year, Mr Wong also led the team to introduce a new and refreshed BT Weekend in celebration of the paper's 40th anniversary. The "newspaper magazine" includes more features and a long-form read titled "Brunch" that promises food for thought.

Mr Wong, 48, said: "Under Alvin's editorship, BT made tremendous strides in growing its franchise, both as a news product on multiple platforms and as a brand. He has given us a very strong base to build on. Just as important, he has created a great atmosphere here, and done much to build a happy newsroom."

He added: "BT will continue to focus on growing our franchise. We do not want to underestimate what we're up against, but we don't want to underestimate our strengths too. Chief among these is a very talented newsroom, one that is together and with a can-do spirit. This gives us the quiet confidence that we can turn challenges into opportunities."

The appointments are part of leadership succession in EMTM, which comprises the print and digital editions of The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian, and their respective student publications.

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