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Apr 23, 2008

'Malay Mail' to be political sheet

Image hosting by Imageshack.usmalaysianinsider - The Simpletech-Gabungan Kesturi consortium that bought The Malay Mail from NSTP Berhad has appointed industry veteran Tony Francis as editor with the tabloid's old news editor Frankie D'Cruz as consultant.

The Malaysian Insider has also learnt that former The Star political correspondent K. Baradan is

helming The Malay Mail's political desk and is looking to hire reporters for states under the Pakatan governments.

The tabloid, which will continue to cover sports and entertainment news, has offered to retain its staff who were earlier employed by NSTP. The media giant sold the newspaper after revamps failed to stem falling circulation.

But the new owners are optimistic the newspaper's new direction and return to afternoon editions to be sold in the Pakatan Rakyat states will bring it back to black. They also expect higher revenues from the Euro 2008 football championships this June.

Simpletech's owner Ibrahim Mohamed Nor is a politically-connected businessman with a stake in Blue Inc that owns string of lifestyle magazines. Gabungan Kesturi is a substantial shareholder of public-listed Media Prima Berhad, which in turn is a major shareholder in NSTP Berhad.

NSTP sold The Malay Mail for less than the sticker price of RM15 million, while keeping its valuable archives of reports and photos gathered since the paper's first hit the streets on December 14, 1896.

The new owners have opted for experience when they chose editor Tony Francis who used to be New Straits Times chief news editor after decades in the sports desk. His last job was editor-in-chief of sports weekly The Malaysian Today. more...


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