New radio station for SPH UnionWorks (ST)

BackDec 22, 2011

92FM to start late next year and will target women and families

SPH UnionWorks has clinched the rights to operate a new radio station after 11 proposals were submitted by five companies for two stations at stake.

But the Media Development Authority (MDA) has decided not to award the second station, calling the other submissions "less unique and compelling".

Instead, it would be put up again for bidding at a later date.

SPH UnionWorks' new station, at 92FM, will provide music and in-depth women and family content.

Broadcasting in English, it is targeted at women aged 25 and above, as well as families, and will touch on relationships, family matters, child psychology, women's health and fashion, among others.

Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, chairman of SPH UnionWorks, said it was thrilled to have won the bid.

"We believe that the new station will add vibrancy to the local radio industry with its unique programming," he added.

Ms Goh Wee Wang, general manager of SPH UnionWorks, said the new station would be operational late next year.

"Together with 91.3FM and Radio 100.3, 92FM is committed to delivering creative and quality content for both our listeners and advertisers," she added.

SPH UnionWorks, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, currently runs two stations which broadcast in English (91.3FM) and Mandarin (Radio 100.3).

Industry folk such as Mr Melvin Lim, chief executive of advertising agency MPG, said it was timely for a station to reach out to women and families.

"There is a huge untapped market for advertisers to reach out to this neglected segment of mothers and kids. It represents very good business potential for organisations," he added.

MPG handles accounts such as POSB, NTUC FairPrice and Abbott Singapore which produces milk formulations.

With the new station, SPH UnionWorks will become the second largest radio broadcaster in Singapore. The number of local FM stations currently stands at 19, including the new station.

MDA, which launched the tender for FM stations 89.3 and 92 in March, had welcomed both commercial and not-for- profit operators to bid.

It had said it did not intend to limit the future stations to any particular genre, in order to encourage a variety of proposals.

A feedback-gathering exercise in April last year revealed 20 parties were interested.

The results of the tender, which was due in September, were released yesterday.

In a press release, MDA said the 11 valid bids came from CMS Media, Media- Corp, Singapore Austar Media Group, StarHub and SPH UnionWorks.

MDA said it will tender the FM89.3 frequency at a later date to "give industry players time to develop fresh and innovative concepts" that can further add vibrancy to the local radio scene.

A Nielsen Media Index survey carried out between March and May found that 93 per cent of the population aged 15 and above tuned in to radio at least once a week.