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Tune in to Money FM 89.3 for business news starting Jan 29

SPH Radio general manager Sim Hong Huat says "a financial news radio station will have a good balance between listener interest and commercial interest".


THOSE looking to stay on top of the latest business news, learn how to manage their money or find out what's behind the bitcoin craze while driving to work or back home will soon be able to tune in to Singapore's first financial radio news station.

Singapore Press Holdings Radio will launch Money FM 89.3 on Jan 29 to cater to busy professionals looking to make their money work harder.

The morning and evening shows will be packed with meaty analyses and interviews.

Presenters Yasmin Jonkers and Elliott Danker will host the Morning Drive Time, from 6am to 10am. The segment, which will also feature Ryan Huang, will focus on market trends, personal finance, stock picks and the property market.

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Between 4pm and 8pm, Evening Drive Time will be hosted by another pair of presenters, including Desmond Wong, giving regional market updates and the latest corporate announcements.

The 10am to 2pm slot, anchored by Howie Lim, features entrepreneurship content and regular market updates, while Claressa Monteiro comes on from 2pm to 4pm with lifestyle stories and interviews.

Between 8pm and 6am the following day, the programming revolves around syndicated shows and jazz or adult contemporary music. Those tuning in to 89.3 now can already hear the music as the station undergoes test transmission.

Money FM aims to capture a listenership of PMEB (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen) comprising largely listeners aged 35 and above, said Sim Hong Huat, general manager of SPH Radio.

"These are people who have been working for a period of time, and many could be starting a family," he said. "There are a lot of financial concerns among this group of people."

While such information may exist on the Internet, the radio format encourages "passive learning where people get financial information about things that they may not search for, but is still essential," said Mr Sim.

SPH Radio's market research had found that radio listeners here want a station dedicated to financial news. Also interestingly, radio listenership here is holding steady even as other traditional media has been under pressure, Mr Sim noted.

"We thought a financial news radio station will have a good balance between listener interest and commercial interest," he said, adding that the station will benefit from working closely with The Business Times, Singapore's only financial daily.

Money FM is also looking to feature BT journalists as regulars on its shows.

"It's because SPH has BT that we are in a position to start such a financial station," said Mr Sim. "BT naturally is a very big part of the programming because of its credibility and business reach."

For more than a month, Money FM's presenters have been meeting daily to sharpen their business journalism chops under the tutelage of SPH Radio executive editor Ven Sreenivasan. The veteran financial journalist and former BT news editor has been guiding the presenters as they discuss potential angles for each day's news, and who they would interview to give listeners the best perspective about the market.

Besides daily business news content from BT, Money FM will also carry general news and features from The Straits Times. Listeners will be able to hear ST's leading feature writers and commentators discuss topics of interest ranging from politics to lifestyle.

Mr Sim is confident in his presenters' ability to deliver fresh insights to listeners. "The station can provide a slightly different angle from what people will read in the newspapers, and also provide a teaser to get people to pick up BT or ST."

He has his eye on eventually doubling the headcount of Money FM's programming staff, now at 12. "Ultimately, we want to be the go-to station when anything big is going on - whether it's an election, financial crisis or when there's a bull run and everyone's interested in the market. We want everyone to be tuning in to the station."

Besides their radios, listeners can also tune in via SPH Radio's mobile app and on Web stream. Podcasts will be available on the station's website and Facebook page after broadcast.

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