Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ernest Wong - New Chairman



Ernest Wong is back to MediaCorp as its Chairman from June 2016( succeeding Teo Ming Kin). He was Group Chief Executive from 2000 to 2005..
Mr Teo said Ernest is best suited for the job and can help navigate the complex landscape of the broadcasting business.

“A veteran banker since 1972, Mr Wong was United Overseas Bank Group President and board member from 1990 to 2000 when he left to join Mediacorp as its Group CEO. Before 1972, he worked for five years with Singapore’s Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Finance. Currently, Mr Wong chairs Temasek Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiary, Fullerton Financial Holdings, which invests in and operates financial institutions in emerging markets. He is a board member of Pavilion Capital Holdings and commissioner of PT Bank Danamon Indonesia. Outside of the financial sector, Mr Wong chairs A Menarini Asia-Pacific and is a Trustee of the NTU Board of Trustees and Chairman of its Investment Committee.” ..from CNA

I worked with him during his five years (as Chief Engineer) at MediaCorp. I could get along well with him.
I would say he was a know-all CEO, colourful character and always had focus for the business aspect of the company ---making money.
For info see CNA website  at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/mediacorp-announces/2718760.html

Sunday, February 28, 2016

new logo
old logo 2001 -2015


Mediacorp Singapore broadcaster moves into a new building after 63 years at Caldecott Broadcast Centre. It has unveiled a new logo to replace the longest serving blue one which was used for 15 years. With a multi colour design it reflects a evolving open company in the years ahead. Mediacorp’s CEO Shaun Seow said he hoped the logo’s colours and texture would help to “project Mediacorp’s vibrancy and its multiplicity of talent, media and experiences.”
The new12-storey  building at Mediapolis has facilities  for 3 new studios, 4 entertainment studios and a theatre was officially opened by the Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong.  It will take nine months from Dec 2015 to completely move to the new complex.

At last it is done. We had  been talking about moving since the days of SBC in the 80s. Over the years there were feasibility studies for a number of sites which included Bugis Junction Area, Changi Business Park, Harbout Front and Bukit Batok.  Best wishes to all at the new Mediacorp and congratulations to the hard-working project team for this milestone achievement.

For more details of the complex please go to:
http://www.mediacorp.sg/en/mediacorp-in-the-news/media-releases/mediacorp-campus-5947114


Thursday, November 26, 2015

COT Gathering



Caldecott Hill Old Timers gathered at the cafe poolside of the Singapore Recreation Club on 23 Nov 2015 6.30pm ...to chit chat and warm memories of our time on Caldecott Hill..and to welcome Georgre Favacho and his darling again to Singapore from Perth. The event was organised by Cecilia and Lucy and anchored by George.. We had jolly good time..with George making introduction for the umpteen times on all the old timers namely..
Horace Wee, Ruth Heng, Lee Peng Hock, Michael Loke, Liew Ter Kwang, Philip Tay Joo Thong, Susan, Susan Ng, Ow Kee Hong etc. We were also joined by Narayan as well as Jeffrey Goh. The late Steven Lee s darling Amy also was there and George cracked some jokes about Steven which brought back some old memories. He was my regular lunch kaki with Michael and Lucy.I was very glad to meet up again especially Ow, Michael, Lucy, Joan Chee ,Liew Ter Kwang, Lee Peng Hock etc.
 Karen Chia was there. She has recently left Mediacorp for greener pasture elsewhere. We wish to record our appreciation to her for keeping COT informed of the latest in MediaCorp and keeping the Group well posted about the move to Mediapolis.
For those interested to join us for the next COT gathering please contact Lucy or Cecilia or email to George at gfavacho@gmail.com or email me at tay.philip@gmail.com

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Big Guns





Broadcasting in Singapore and the Big Guns

The direction of broadcasting in Singapore is set by a group of important
people and highly qualified people from industry. Most were with the
Government. They were responsible for the health of broadcasting to
inform educate entertain the masses…also for the successes (and failures)
of many projects on Caldecott Hill. Here is a list of the Big Guns and the Hill.

Ministers: S. Rajaratnm, Othman Wok, Jek  Yuen Thong,Ong Teng Cheong,
Yeo Ning Hong, George Yeo, David Lim, Lee Yock Suan, Lee Boon Yang, Yaacob
Ibrahim (present)

Permanent Secretaries: Lee Siow Mong, JohnDuclos, P S Raman,
Hsu Tse Kwang, Cheng Tong Fatt, Goh Kim Leong, Tan Chin Name, Niam Chiang Meng, Chan Yeng Kit, Aubeck Kam

CEO of Authority: Ho Meng Kiat, Goh Liang Kwang, Christopher Chia,
Aubeck Yam, Koh Lin-Net, Gabriel Lim (present)

Chairman of Company: Ong Teng Cheong Choon Kong, Cheong, Wee Kim Wee, Wee Mon Cheng,
Yong Pung How, Cheng Wai Keung, Ho Kwong Pin,  Teo Ming Kin(present)

CEOs of Company:

1960s: John Duclos, PS Raman
1970s: Hsu Tse Kwang, Mrs Wong Lee Siok Tin
1990s: Moses Lee , Lim Hup Seng
2000s: Lee Cheok Yew, Anthong Chia, Sandra Buenoventura, Ernest Wong,
Lucas Chow, Shaun Seow (Present)

Note: CEO was called Director of Broadcasting in the 60s and 70s until the company was
corporatised to SBC in the 80s.
The broadcasting company on the Hill was known by various names viz
Department of Broadcasting, SBC, Singapore International Media and its
components RCS, TVS, STV12,  Media Corp (present)
The Ministry was called Ministry of Culture, Sports and Culture, Information
And the Arts, Information and Communiction and the Arts, Ministry of Information
And Communication
Authority: The Authority was called Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA)
and later Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

(Please email me for errors and omissions)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

MediaCorp Digital Television






Come 2020 roof top TV antennas like the ones seen above would completely clear the Singapore skyline. This is made possible by use of indoor antennas with your digital TV set using a digital tv standard  DVB-T2 adopted by MediaCorp. MediaCorp is transmitting all free-to-air channels in digital since Dec 2013, of  which all except  Ch U are in HD . Ch U will go HD in 2016. Asean countries except the Philippines had agreed to switch off analog TV by 2020 and  to adopt DVB-T2 standard thereby creating a big market for digital TV equipment and exchange of information.
Digital TV can be received free to air by an integrated digital TV set or with a digital TV set top box connected to existing TV sets. The Government has announced subsidies for more than 150,000 households to switch to digital by 2020. And sets with a DTV approved label are now available at TV retail outlets.
 MediaCorp engineers have been installing transmitters progresively island wide since 2013 to be completed by 2020 or earlier. You can find out if you area is digital ready by checking this website http://www17.mediacorp.sg/digitaltv/
Digital TV pictures are digitally coded and as such lead to better quality pictures and enhanced related data services. It also enables the telecast and display of high definition pictures and sound. Because the channels are free to air viewers need not subscribe to any cable service.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Liew Ter Kwang

In 1967 when I arrived at Caldecott for my first job as a technical cadet,  I was greeted by Liew Ter Kwang who was then the Engineer in Charge of TV studios.Mr Liew put me to do viision control(the technical term is CCU,,camera contro unit) My stay at Ca;decott Hill lasted for 43 years. Of the years I know him, he had always been an engiineer who had high standards of professional conduct and was very knowlegeable on new broadcast equipment and developments. He was responsible for many of the broadcast systems which improved and expanded the the operations of the company.
Here is a short write up from Karen of MediaCorp//Reminiscing Liew Ter Kwang.....

(Talking to official from China TV at an international conference)

Ter Kwang joined RTS in 1962 as Engineer-in-charge (Master Control Room) and retired in 1997 as Senior Executive Engineer (Projects and Development).
An honours grad in electrical engineering, Ter Kwang has held various senior engineering positions in SBC for the past 30 years and has a wealth of experience in planning and designing of broadcast engineering facilities. He also spent two years as VP of Business Development in SIM Communications.

Recalling back the time in 1963 when TV Singapura was first launched, Ter Kwang was in charge of the operations of the Master Control Room, responsible for switching programmes from the right sources on air and ensuring that the technical equipment are in normal correct operational conditions.
On remembering the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew:
The TV Production Studio at the Temporary TV Studio Complex was the venue for the recording of many press conferences held by the then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. This included the significant press conference held on 9 August 1965, in which PM Lee announced the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. In the middle of this recording, Mr Lee broke down in with tears. The recording had to be stopped for a of couple minutes before it could be continued. Immediately after the completion of the recording, Mr Lee asked the reporters not to report his crying scene in the press. Ter Kwang recounted that after much persuasion by the then Director of Broadcasting, Mr P.S. Raman, Mr Lee said before he left the TV Studio, "I leave the matter to the broadcasters to decide whether to broadcast it or not".
TV Singapura decided to telecast the complete recording on air and that clip has become part of an important archive of a nation’s turning point.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sandra Buenaventura





 I met Sandra at the recent get-together by MediaCorp to pay tributes to its pioneers. I was certainly glad to meet up with another old timer whom I had worked with for a number of years on Caldecott Hill. Sandra was then the Head of Programme and Scheduling unit and I was engineer in charge of the Master Control Rooms where TV programmes were delivered to homes via the TV transmitters. Being one of the professionals with the TV team under Cheng Teng Fatt she acquired a good many overseas TV programmes during the days of SBC. I knew her to be a no nonsense kind of manager who always demanded the best from her staff. When the company restructured into several component companies under Singapore International Media Pte Ltd she was promoted to President and CEO of TV 12 (the other TV company was TCS Television Corporation of Singapore).
To share more memories with other COTs here is a write-up with courtesy from Karen of the Corporate Communications Department of MediaCorp
 (Photo above: from left Sandra, Paramajit Singh, Michael Loke)
Reminiscing with …. Sandra Buenaventura
Sandra found her way into broadcasting as a secondment to then RTS from the Ministry of Culture in 1979. She was part of the pioneer team that revamped the programing content of Channels 5 and 8 as RTS evolved into SBC. During her tenure, she acquired foreign TV programmes and movies, scheduling of both foreign and Singapore-produced programmes, publicity, promotion and subtitling of all TV programmes on the 2 channels. She later launched Channel 12, dedicated to documentaries and the arts and became its first female President and CEO of TV12.

During her 17-year career, Sandra was part of the Senior Management team at SBC and became the first Asian to be appointed on the Board of Promax – a radio and TV international body based in the US. Sandra left TV in 1997 and joined Mindef as Head Public Communications.
 “The support and the patience and tolerance shown by my 300 plus staff for my raving and ranting. In fact they tell me it is payback time for me now as I have been tasked by them to organise our annual get together lunch for the past 17 yea Sandra's Quotable Quotes: "if you survive under my management you can survive under any boss rs.”