Thursday, October 13, 2011


13 Oct 2011 | Key Appointments in Media Prima Berhad Group

PETALING JAYA, 13 October 2011 – Media Prima Berhad (“MPB”), Malaysia’s largest integrated media group today announced several key senior management appointments within the Group. These appointments are:

1. En. Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, as the Chief Operating Officer of The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (“NSTP”) and the designated successor to YBhg Dato’ Anthony Firdauz Bujang as the Chief Executive Officer of NSTP. Mohammad Azlan, who has been with Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd (“BTO”) since its inception and who is part of MPB senior management team, played an instrumental role in the development and growth of the MPB Group. In assuming his new role at NSTP, Mohammad Azlan will relinquish his current position as the Chief Executive Officer of BTO;

2. En. Abdul Jalil Hamid as the Group Managing Editor of NSTP, succeeding YBhg Dato’ Zainul Ariffin Mohamed Isa. Abdul Jalil will oversee the news and editorial operations of NSTP encompassing The New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Harian Metro and NSTP e-media. Abdul Jalil has more than 25 years’ experience as a journalist, including an 18-year stint as a foreign correspondent and a deputy bureau chief with global news company, Reuters. His expertise is in strategic communication and media management;

3. YBhg. Dato’ Zainul Ariffin Mohamed Isa will assume two new roles, as Managing Editor, NSTP e-media and Head of New Media Division, MPB. He will relinquish his current position as the Group Managing Editor of NSTP. As the Head of New Media Division, and reporting to the Group Managing Director of MPB, he will oversee the expansions and operations of MPB’s new media units. He will also be responsible for content convergence from the various platforms within the MPB Group;

4. YBhg Datuk Mohd Ashraf Abdullah, as the Deputy Group Managing Editor of MPB’s Television and Radio Networks overseeing news and editorial operations of TV3, ntv7, 8TV, TV9, Hot FM, Fly FM and One FM. Datuk Ashraf started his career with The News Straits Times in 1988. He left NSTP in 2004 and was appointed as General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs of Golden Hope Plantation Bhd. In 2009, he joined MPB as the Group Editor of TV3; and

5. Mr. Jeff Cheah See Hong, as the Chief Operating Officer of BTO with oversight on the operations of BTO, succeeding Mohammad Azlan. Jeff Cheah has been with BTO since 2002 with his last position being the General Manager of Sales. He played a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of BTO and MPB’s Outdoor Division.
The above appointments and changes are effective 15 October 2011. In addition, MPB also announced the following:-

a. After serving twelve years with MPB Group, YBhg. Dato’ Anthony Firdauz Bujang, will end his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of NSTP to pursue his personal goals and undertake new challenges outside the Group. He has agreed to remain till the conclusion of his contract in December 2011 reflecting his strong commitment to ensure a smooth handover and minimal disruption to operations. Dato’ Anthony played a
pivotal role in the turnaround of Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd (“TV3”) and NSTP. He was responsible in strategising and driving the transformation of NSTP, which resulted in the improvement in the overall performance of the company; and

b. Puan Farisha Pawanteh will relinquish her position as the Chief Operating Officer of Primeworks Studio Sdn Bhd (“Primeworks”) effective 31 October 2011 following her appointment to a senior position at a government department. She has been with the MPB Group since 2005, and was responsible for the successful rebranding of TV3 and is instrumental in the formation of Primeworks.
The editorial appointments are seen as an effort by MPB to strengthen its Editorial Operations with emphasis on alternative platforms such as online, mobile and related products. Datuk Johan Jaaffar, Chairman of MPB, stated “the editorial appointments reflect our commitment to ensure that our news and editorial operations remains effective given the ever changing media landscape. Meanwhile the appointments of Mohamad Azlan and Jeff Cheah reflect our strong succession planning in ensuring smooth handover of responsibilities and operations at NSTP and BTO respectively”.

“On behalf of MPB, I would like to thank Dato’ Anthony for his dedication and contributions during his tenure at MPB. He played a pivotal role in the turnaround of TV3 and NSTP. He was also responsible in strategizing and driving the transformation of NSTP, and improvement in the performance of the company,” commented Dato’ Amrin Awaluddin, Group Managing Director of MPB.

“Dato’ Anthony is leaving NSTP in the hands of a dynamic and capable team. During the transition period, Dato’ Anthony shall be working closely with Mohammad Azlan and Abdul Jalil, with the objective of minimal disruption to the business and operations of NSTP. The appointment of Jeff Cheah meanwhileensures continuity in the business strategy and operations of BTO”, added Dato’ Amrin.

MPB is the largest integrated media group in Malaysia with a combined reach to approximately twenty-three million people daily through its various media platforms. The appointments and changes will further consolidate its presence and positioning in the dynamic media landscape.

- end -

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Abdul Jalil Hamid, Prime Minister's Media Supremo, has been tipped to take over the helm of The New Straits Times Press following the removal of Zainul Arifin Mohamed Isa as the Group Managing Editor.

Jalil is instrumental in advising Najib Razak on daily media exposure and it is understood that Jalil has succeeded in convincing the Prime Minister that he is the most suitable candidate to disseminate Najib's agenda through the three newspapers - New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro - under NSTP's stable.

By Friday, Zainul will make a disgraceful exit as the Group Managing Editor to join a long list of former editors who, in one way or the other, were forced out by the Power-That-Be in Putrajaya.

For the record, Zainul was appointed to his post on July 1, 2009, and by Friday, his stint ends after 2 years 3 months in the job with NST's circulation hovering around 60,000 copies a day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The axe will this week fall on two top executives at the New Straits Times Press.

It is long overdue. Things would have been different had the chopping came a little bit sooner. But they say it is never too late and there are many ways to save a sinking ship.

Little bird whispered that Anthony Firdauz Bujang, NSTP chief executive, and NSTP Group Managing Editor Zainul Arifin Muhammed Isa, will be booted out the latest by Friday.

Why? Dwindling sales of the New Straits Times, the flagship of the NSTP.

Little bird says NST's circulation has dipped to the lowest in the company's history and the company simply sits still watching sales falling like flies.

Come Friday, Anthony and Zainul will be made to pay the price for their poor supervision of the NST.

Some say, in public, executives are quoting the NST circulation averaging at 120,000 copies a day but in the backyard, concerned staff are implying that the figures have been inflated to prevent a slide in advertising revenues.

At one stage, they say, the NST's circulation dropped below 60,000 copies a day and the worst performer has been the New Sunday Times.

There have been talks that there would also be changes in the ranks at the editorial level but it will take place gradually with executives passing their sell dates will be told to pack up by the end of the year.

 Little bird also revealed that there have been too many passengers onboard NST especially at the editorial level and the paper is suffering primarily because of these non-performers.

But there is also suggestion that the changes are politically motivated as the ruling party is preparing an all out assault on the opposition as the general election nears.

But observers say the change will not end with the removal of the two senior executives.

Changes are also expected at sister papers Berita Harian and Harian Metro and at Media Prima before we say goodbye to 2011.

As always, NST's politics brighten the lives of journalists.