Media Prima cuts 300 employees as it expedites next phase of transformation exercise

Media Prima has laid off about 300 employees, with their last day being 31 July. The group said in a statement that together with representatives from its five union groups, it has concluded discussions on the execution of the next phase of Media Prima's business transformation plan that was announced on 4 June.

The discussions aimed to ensure that the process is transparent and that all obligations to affected employees were given the utmost priority. "All parties understood the need for the business transformation and agreed to the mechanism of fair and equitable compensation to affected employees as governed by the law, respective union collective agreements and employment contracts," the group explained. A+M has reached out to Media Prima for comment on the impact on its marketing team.

On 4 June, Media Prima said it is undergoing another round of job cuts at selected units to address cost inefficiencies arising from unnecessary work duplication. It is also revising revenue models and corresponding cost management. The move was due to disruptive changes in the media sector and challenging macroeconomic conditions, exacerbated further by unknown variables surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the group, these factors have compelled it to expedite the next phase of its transformation exercise. Media Prima added that the business transformation is aimed to land the group on a robust and sustainable business model for the medium and long-term.

Earlier this month, the group's ntv7 Mandarin 7 ceased broadcast after 21 years and merged with 8TV Mandarin News. Ntv's Mandarin 7 first broadcasted in 1999 and the team confirmed in a Facebook post that it will merge with 8TV’s Mandarin news channel, extending the air time from 35 minutes nightly to an hour. New segments on business and current issues have been added to the additional air time.

Meanwhile in May, Media Prima Television Network witnessed its CEO Johan Ishak leave for Awesome Media Network as MD. Johan is now responsible for the overall operations of Awesome TV and strengthening its core business of providing high quality fresh content, in-line with the company’s long -term strategy and goal for the channel. 

During the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020), the group posted a revenue of RM238.4 million, a marginal decline from RM239.1 million during Q1 2019. Group digital revenue improved by 9% to RM18.9 million on the back of a 12% digital advertising growth against the comparative period. Meanwhile, group traditional revenue dropped by 7% due to cautious spending by advertisers. Circulation revenue improved by 12% for the three months under review, reflecting the positive outcome of measures undertaken to improve efficiency in this segment.

Meanwhile, Commerce revenue grew 24% in Q1 2020, driven by its home shopping network CJ Wow Shop which recorded a 18% revenue increase and 27% increase in customers. CJ Wow Shop has also expanded its online reach with its web and mobile platforms contributing more than 40% of its Q1 2020 total sales, the company said. Primeworks Studios registered a 13% increase in revenue mainly due to a successful film release and higher advertiser content revenue from external productions in the quarter.

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