Bangkok Post Public Company Limited

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POST embraces digital era, eyes new market segments

Monday March 06, 2017

Mr Chokdee says Post Publishing must evolve, like the rest of the world's media.

Post Publishing Plc, Thailand's oldest newspaper publisher, will leverage its strong brand position and quality news content to expand into digital media and other businesses, says new chief operating officer Chokdee Wisansing.

Technology, the internet and mobile telecommunications has had a transformative impact on everyone's life, with the media no exception.

Mr Chokdee sees embracing the digital revolution as both a challenge and an opportunity.

"[Post Publishing] is more than a newspaper company. The world and media have evolved, and so must our newspapers. Our strength is our content," he said.

Mr Chokdee has a long background in the hospitality and food retail businesses, including leadership positions at Yum Restaurants International Thailand and Central Restaurants Group.

Post Publishing, the publisher of the Bangkok Post, Post Today and M2F newspapers, has been affected both in advertising and subscriptions from the rise of social media.

Mr Chokdee, who will oversee the company's newspaper operations, said he felt confident there was "light at the end of the tunnel", highlighting the Post Publishing's experience, wealth of knowledge and human talent as key strengths.

"For our readers, we must continue to ensure the quality of our news. And for our advertising clients, we have to continue to work in partnership to help them build and market their own businesses," he said.

"Our goal is to provide a win-win proposition to our customers."

Patsarakorn Chirathivat, chief operating officer of digital media and magazines for Post Publishing, agreed it was a challenging time for the publishing industry.

"But where there is crisis, there is opportunity," Mr Patsarakorn said.

Titles published under Post International, a unit of Post Publishing, include Elle, Elle Decor, Forbes, Cycling Plus, Science Illustrated and Cleo.

He said while 2016 was primarily focused on rationalising costs and improving efficiency and productivity in operations, this year will focus on growth opportunities in digital media, both for the company's existing titles and in new market segments.

"For 2017, we will continue with cost controls. But we also plan to roll out new products in new categories. We have to shift to new growth sectors," said Mr Patsarakorn.

Yupaphan Ekasittikul, the group chief financial officer, said last year the company cut sales and administration expenses by 181 million baht or 26.2% compared with the previous year.

Cost controls helped earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation improve to 60.9 million baht for 2016, compared with -24.5 million the year before, a 349% increase that reflected stronger operating cash flow.

Mr Patsarakorn says it is a challenging time but 'where there is crisis, there is opportunity'.


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