Note: The Cathay Building was opened in 2 Oct 1939. It was 83m high the tallest building in Singapore then. The architect was Frank Brewer. Photo is by courtesy of the National Archives.
..to share fond memories with those who worked from the 40s to the present at Caldecott Hill Broadcasting complex. "Memories are the treasures we keep locked deep within the storehouse of our souls, to keep our hearts warm, when we feel lonely" email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Singapore's Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts Dr Yaacob Ibrahim announced in his CommunicAsia2012 opening address that Singapore's free-to-air TV channels will go fully digital by the end of 2013 using the DVB-T2 standard.Singapore will complete the switchover from analog to digital broadcasting by 2020, in line with ASEAN's agreed timeframe.
Over the years MediaCorp known by different names viz Dept of Broadcasting, RTS Radio and TV Singapura, TCS Television Corporation of Singapore, SBC Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, SIM Singapore International Media and now MediaCorp What ever the name the mission to inform, educate, entertain and make money continues……
1935: Private company British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation set up broadcast station on Caldecott Hill
June 1936: Start of regular radio transmission operating from Empress Place
1940: Purchase of Broadcasting company by Singapore Government and renamed as "Broadcasting Station, Posts and Telegraph Department, Singapore and the Federated Malay State
April 1941: Responsibility for the operation of the broadcasting station was taken over by the Malaya Broadcasting Corporation, a quasi-Government organisation jointly controlled by the governments of the Straits Settlements and the United Kingdom.
February 1942 - August 1945: The station was operated by the Japanese Military Administration under the name of 'Syonan Hoso Kyoku'.
September 1945: Broadcasting came under the Publicity and Printing Unit of the British Military Administration.
April 1946: The Broadcasting Service (then Pan Malayan) was re-organised as "Radio Malaya, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya" with its headquarters in Singapore.
1956 : Radio Orchestra form.
January 1959: Service under Radio Singapore
July 1960 : Start of Commercial Radio
1962 : Bukit Batok Transmitter Tower built
January 1963 : A pilot monochrome television service
February 1963: Inauguration of Television Singapura at the Victoria Memorial Hall. Regular television service began on 2 April 1963.
April 1963 : Regular broadcast on TV Channel 5.
August 1963: Radio Singapore function as the Singapore Station of Radio Malaysia.
November 1963 : The second TV channel, Channel 8 launched for mainly Chinese
January 1964 : Commercial Television Service start.
August 1965 : Fire destroy Television Singapura's main studio in the old Broadcasting House.
August 1965: After separation the station operate under the Department of Broadcasting within the Ministry of Culture.
August 1966 : Television Singapura Outside Broadcast Unit first direct telecast of the first Singapore National Day Parade held at the Padang
26 August 1966 : Opening of Radio and Television Singapore (RTS) new Television Centre at Caldecott Hill by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
January 1967 : TV Singapore began its Educational Television Service (ETV).
July 1969 : Stereo FM Service was inaugurated on 92.4 mHz in the VHF Band II using the NICAM system
Nov 73: Centre for the Production and Training for Adult Television (CEPTA)launch. A joint project between Spore Gov and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung it has TV studio at Harding Road. Susequently it moved to Kay Siang Road
August 1974 : First 'live' colour telecast of the National Day Parade.
July 1974: First live colour telecast via satellite. The World Cup Soccer Final between West Germany and Holland.
1 April 1975: Opening of Telecentre a Telecoms Training Centre which has SBC Engineering Training wing. Located 1 Hillcrest Road. Funded by UNDP.
1Oct 1975: 11th Commonwealth Broadcasting Conference in Singapore. Ag Director of Broadcasting Mrs Wong Lee Siok Tin chairs meeting
July 1978 : Commercials using dialect taken off the air and dialect skits phase out.
September 1979 : The Singapore Broadcasting Bill in Parliament.
December 1979 : The Singapore Broadcasting Corporation Act, 1979
February 1980: RTS restructures into the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). The Permanent Secretary (Culture), Cheng Tong Fatt, became General Manager and Wong-Lee Siok Tin, the former Director of Broadcasting, was appointed Deputy General Manager. Ong Teng Cheong was appointed SBC first board chairman.
1980: Telecentre renamed Singtel Academy with completion of two 11-storey building. SBC close its training wing at Telecentre two years later
1980: Formation of SBC Dancers
May 1981: Live from Studio One launch,a variety show that span more than five years
July 1982: SBC’s first locally produced Chinese drama, “Seletar Robbery”
1984 : Opening of SBC Training School.
January 1984 : TV Channel 12 launch as arts and culture channel
February 1984 : SBC launches its first local blockbuster drama, “Awakening”, bringing fame to early television idols like Huang Wenyong and Xiang Yun.
March 1984 : Chinese Drama "The Awakening" Episode 10 - Huang Wenyong and Xiang Yun were Caldecott's first golden screen couple in this drama about Chinese immigrants in Singapore from the 1920s onwards. Talking point: The first screen kiss (first kiss) in a then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation drama serial between Chen Shucheng and Huang Peiru.
1985: This period introduce many entertainment variety shows at night eg Hello 84, Reach Out Spore, Residential Committee Night variety shows.
9 August 1986: NDP at City for the first time telecast into night (From then onwards all NDPs have a night entertainment segment)
1987: SBC with Miss Universe produced and telecast the event to more than 500 million viewers world wide
February 1988 : SBC organises its first “Star Search”. Zoe Tay wins
1990: Goh Kim Leong replace Cheng Tong Fatt as Deputy Chairman
Jan 1991 : Mrs Wong-Lee Siok Tin retires as general manager of SBC replace by Moses Lee
Jan 1994: Malay programmes transfer to Ch 12
December 1994 : A second satellite TV transmit/receive earth station on Caldecott Hill for the Singapore International Foundation's regional broadcast venture - SITV.
February 1994 : Radio Singapore International (RSI) shortwave radio station establishes
February 1994: First locally produced telemovie, Blazing Trail in Mandarin was aired.
February 1994: First Star Awards.
August 1994: Breakfast TV with the debut of AM Singapore on Channel 5.
October 1994: Privatisation of the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation - SBC was restructured into a new holding company, Singapore International Media (SIM), to own all television and radio businesses under the names of Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), Radio Corporation of Singapore (RCS) and Singapore Television Twelve (STV12). STV 12 was our TV company for arts and cultural programmes. TCS operates Ch 5 and 8 while TV12 operates Channel 12.
October 1994: First locally produced English drama series Masters of the Sea was aired.
1995 : Channel 12 is revamped and Prime 12 and Premiere 12 are launched.
February 1995: The first local English sitcom, “Under One Roof”, is launched.
March 1995: Launch of Good Morning Singapore on Channel 8.
April 1995: First local English docu-drama series begins. Extraordinary People, about ordinary people who rise above themselves.
September 1995: TCS begins 24-hour transmission in English and Mandarin. Malay and Tamil programmes move to Prime 12 and Premier 12 respectively.
October 1995: TCS launches Singapore's first Mandarin satellite television channel.
October 1995 : Mr Kwa Chong Seng, appointed the new chairman of Singapore International Media (SIM). He takes over from Dr Cheong Choong Kong.
1996 : TCS is named Broadcaster of the Year at the Asian Television Awards. It clinches the same title for the next 5 consecutive years (1996-2000)..
1996 : TV12 officially becomes Singapore Television Twelve Pte Ltd (STV12).
1997 : The world's first ever Tamil sitcom, Amali Thumali, debuts on Prime 12.
May 1997 : Mr Lim Hup Seng became CEO of Singapore International Media (SIM) and CEO of Singapore Television Twelve (STV12).
1998 : Singapore's 1st locally produced TV cartoon series, Jo Kilat makes its debut on Prime 12.
August 1998 : MediaCorp Studios, Raintree Pictures was set up
March 1999: Launch of Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
April 1999 : Mr Cheng Wai Keung, chairman of the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), takes over as SIM chairman.
June 1999: SIM is renamed Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp) and the group is restructured to provide more flexibility and better focus of its core businesses. TCS becomes one of the Strategic Business Units (SBUs) under MediaCorp. Mr Cheng Wai Keung continues as Chairman of MediaCorp.
1999: Minister George Yeo announced European DVB-T standard for digital terrestrial 2000: Start of 3 digital standard definition channels ch5, 8 and CNA simulcasts
2000 : Chicken Rice War, Raintree Pictures' first English language movie was released. (In September 2001, it won the Volkswagen Discovery Award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and gained a Special Jury Award at the Miami Film Festival 2002.)
2000 : The channels of STV12 revamp. Suria replace Prime 12 as a dedicated channel for the Malay community while Central replace Premiere 12 with 3 distinctive programming belts. Kids Central, Vasantham Central and Arts Central.
February 2000 : The chief executive officer of TCS and chief operating officer of MediaCorp, Mr Lee Cheok Yew resign to become CEO of Mediaworks later.
October 2000: Ernest Wong replace Lim Hup Seng as MediaCorp CEO
November 2000: A consistent Group-wide branding of 'MediaCorp' was adopted. Each of our Strategic Business subsidiaries was renamed - MediaCorp TV , MediaCorp Radio, MediaCorp TV12, MediaCorp News, MediaCorp Studios, MediaCorp Publishing, MediaCorp Technologies, MediaCorp Press.
Jan 2000: SportsCity channel launch. Rename CityTV a year for a larger audience. Close in 2002 because of poor viewership and recession
2001: TVMobile - Singapore's first outdoor digital TV channel and the first in the world to use Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology to deliver high-quality mobile TV programmes to commuters is launched on 1,500 SBS Transit buses islandwide
2001 : TCS rename MediaCorp TV. It is Singapore’s largest terrestrial broadcaster, and owns and manages Channels 5 and 8, which provide quality English and Mandarin mass entertainment and information programmes respectively; Suria (Malay programming), Central (Kids, Arts, Vasantham) and TVMobile. It also owns Digital TV.
2001 : The media industry is liberalized with TV licence for two channels to Mediaworks own by SPH. MediaCorp TV continue to be the market leader in terrestrial television in Singapore.
2001 : STV12 rename MediaCorp TV12 under the MediaCorp Group of Companies.
April 2002 : Mr Kwa Chong Seng replace Cheng Wai Keung as Chairman of MediaCorp. This is Mr Kwa's second term as Chairman of MediaCorp, having helmed the media group earlier between 1 Oct 1995 and 31 March 1999.
April 2002 : Weekend TODAY launch.
February 2003: Group CEO, Mr Ernest Wong, launch MediaCorp TV's 40th Anniversary Celebrations at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore at noon today.
March 2003: 'Style Weddings' magazine, a new bridal magazine by MediaCorp Publishing launch
March 2003: Property Weekly, a supplement in TODAY, launched. Published twice a week (Friday and Saturday), Property Weekly will be a showcase of landed homes, private apartments, condominiums and HDB apartments.
April 2003: MediaCorp News Pte Ltd re-organise
April 2003: MediaCorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd has, with effect from 21 April 2003, become the sole shareholder of TVMobile Pte Ltd, after purchasing from Nera Telecommunications Ltd all of its shares in TVMobile Pte Ltd.
May 2003: The SARS Channel officially open by Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs.
July 2003: TODAY ONLINE launch.
May 2004 : Channel NewsAsia granted rights to broadcast in China.
June 2004 : MediaCorp TV wins 5 GOLD and 2 SILVER AWARDS at the PROMAX & BDA World Gold Awards in New York.
July 2004 : Channel NewsAsia (International) and Thailand Cable TV Association today signed an agreement that will officially launch the channel's carriage in Thailand.
July 2004 : Ho Kwon Peng appointed Chairman
17 September 2004 : MediaCorp and Singapore Press Holdings ("SPH") will be merging their mass-market television and free newspaper operations in a rationalisation move to stem losses and enhance shareholder value. The parties today signed agreements for SPH to subscribe for shares in a new TV company and to co-own MediaCorp Press, which publishes TODAY, a free newspaper. The new TV company will be called MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd. To be 80 per cent owned by MediaCorp and 20 per cent by SPH, it will comprise: The television channels operated by MediaCorp TV and SPH Mediaworks namely Channels 5, 8, TVMobile, U and i; and MediaCorp Studios, which produces the bulk of MediaCorp’s local programming. The new TV company will be managed by MediaCorp. Channel U will continue to operate. The commercial viability of Channel i will be reviewed. SPH will pay a consideration of S$10 million for its 20 per cent stake in the new TV company, which has a net tangible asset value of S$50 million. More capital may be provided as and when required. MediaCorp will retain a 60 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Ltd, which will continue to publish TODAY. It will sell the remaining 40 per cent share to SPH at a consideration of S$19.16 million. Upon legal completion, SPH will merge its free newspaper, STREATS, with TODAY. TODAY will then incorporate the STREATS name in its masthead and it will continue to be managed by MediaCorp. It will operate independently of the stable of newspapers under SPH. (source: Joint PR issued by MediaCorp and Singapore Press Holdings)
10 Novemer 2004 : Viewers in China's top hotels and foreign residential compounds can now tune in to MediaCorp's Channel NewsAsia. The historic development is the culmination of a breakthrough agreement signed between MediaCorp and China International TV Corporation (CITV) in Beijing on 14 May 2004.
31 December 2004 : MediaCorp and Singapore Press Holdings complete TV and free newspaper merger. A new holding company, MediaCorp TV Holdings, comprising MediaCorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd (MCTV) and MediaCorp Studios Pte Ltd, will operate Channels 5, 8, U and TVMobile. MediaCorp TV Holdings is 80 per cent owned by MediaCorp and 20 per cent by SPH. MediaCorp will manage and operate the merged entities. Following a review of its commercial viability, Channel i will cease transmission at 2 am on 1 January 2005.
January 2005: Mediaworks close
January 2005 : MediaCorp Studios and TVBI in first-ever co-production. MediaCorp Studios and TVBI, will join forces for the first time to co-produce a 30-episode series, titled Food For Life.
February 2005 : Group CEO Ernest Wong resigns From MediaCorp.
April 2005 : MediaCorp Publishing Pte Ltd (MPB) and its subsidiary, Caldecott Publishing Pte Ltd (CPPL) operate as one company - MediaCorp Publishing Pte Ltd (MPB).
April 2005 : In a landmark deal for the Singapore broadcasting industry, some 11 million households in the United States will be able to watch Singapore-produced quality arts programmes. MediaCorp TV12 Arts Central has sold 100 hours of its acclaimed local fares to US-based cable network AZN Television (previously called International Networks LLC).
April 2005 : Mr Woon Tai Ho, CEO of MediaCorp News announce that Channel NewsAsia in tie-up with Australian cable network.
April 2005 : MediaCorp Studios to launch Asia's first 3G mobile drama in June 2005. "PS I Love You" will be the first mobile drama shown on 3G - which will also be a first in Asia.
June 2005 : MediaCorp Restructures to meet Future Challenges. MediaCorp Group will be reorganized into three Strategic Business Units (SBUs), to achieve greater clarity and focus in the group's diversified operations. Each SBU will comprise a cluster of companies or departments, headed by a Deputy Group CEO (Dy Grp CEO), a newly created position. The three SBUs and their respective Dy Grp CEOs are: News, Radio and Print headed by Dy Grp CEO Shaun Seow, Television headed by Dy Grp CEO Chang Long Jong and Group Services headed by Dy Grp CEO Henry Lim.
June 2005 : MediaCorp staged "Phua Chu Kang - The Musical" at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
August 2005 : Mr Lucas Chow, 52, appointed CEO
August 2005 : MediaCorp Publishing acquires Hachette MediaCorp Pte Ltd.
September 2005 : MediaCorp Achieves After Tax Profits of $45.0 million; TODAY Newspaper Turns Profitable.
Nov 2005: MediaCorp start Singapore Media Academy. Office is now located at Clarke Quay.
December 2005 : MediaCorp appointed the official Singapore representative of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
February 2006 : 70th anniversary of radio broadcasting in Singapore and MediaCorp (Radio has published "A Sound Celebration", documenting the milestones of broadcasting over the decades. Printed in Chinese text, this 180-page recorded radio's defining moments.To kick start its 70th anniversary celebrations, MediaCorp Radio organised a 70 Hour Gag at Ngee Ann City.)
February 2006 : MediaCorp celebrates its best journalistic talents at the inaugural MediaCorp News Awards.
February 2006 : Mediacorp launch the online broadband television, called MOBTV.
June 2006 : Official opening of MediaCorp Studios' production office in Kuala Lumpur, by Group CEO Lucas Chow and Deputy Group CEO (Television) Chang Long Jong.
June 2006 : MediaCorp launch its HDTV trial on its new terrestrial Channel 38, with the screening of the Hollywood blockbuster, The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersJune 2006 : MediaCorp bag an impressive eight gold, fourteen silver and two bronze awards at the prestigious 2006 PROMAX & BDA World Gold Awards held in New York City.
October 2006 : Real-time subtitling for Channel 5's 9.30pm English news bulletin.
November 2006 : MediaCorp won two golds and eight silvers at Asian Television Awards (ATA) ceremony. Channel NewsAsia won Highly Commended Cable & Satellite Channel of the Year. MediaCorp won two golds for: - Best Drama Performance by an Actor: Mathialagan M for Accidental Accident - Padigal (TV12 Vasantham Central) - Best Infotainment Programme: Where The Queue Starts (Ch 8).
December 2006 : MediaCorp won two golds and eight silvers at Asian Television Awards (ATA) ceremony at Suntec City. Channel NewsAsia won Highly Commended Cable and Satellite Channel of the Year.
December 2006 : Chinese and Malay TV news bulletins start real-time subtitling.
February 2007 : MediaCorp honours the best in journalism for TV, Radio, Press and Publishing at second News Awards.
June 2007 : MediaCorp won its bigggest haul of 27 awards at the 2007 PROMAX and BDA World Gold Awards. The winning entries came from MediaCorp TV Channels 5, 8, U, Suria, MOBTV, Channel NewsAsia and MediaCorp TV's trade marketing division.
June 2007 : MediaCorp bought strategic stakes in Indonesia's most integrated media company, PT Media Nusantara Citra.
26 July 2007 : MediaCorp launch online classifieds website mocca.com in Singapore.
12 September 2007 : MediaCorp Pte Ltd and MediaCorp Radio received the Gold and Bronze Special Events awards respectively at the Community Chest Awards 2007 held on 12 September. The Community Chest Awards recognise companies that raise funds to support Community Chest beneficiaries.
2 October 2007 : MediaCorp receive the Distinguished Patron of the Arts award for the 7th year running.
October 2007 : Official launch of HD5, MediaCorp's High Definition TV channel.
November 2007 : MediaCorp name the Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year at the 12th Asian Television Awards.
19 Oct 2008
February 2008 : MediaCorp's strategic investment in one of China's largest outdoor advertising firm, Dahe Media Co Ltd.
22 February 2008 : MediaCorp Pte Ltd, announced today that it has invested in a new venture in Vietnam. Along with investors FS Communications - a leading Vietnamese media advertising firm, Kinh Do Corporation - a listed confectionary company and a group of prominent Vietnamese businessmen, MediaCorp took a 20% stake in a newly formed company, International Media Corporation (IMC).
April 2008 : the businesses and operations of MCR, MCN, MPB, MEPL, TV12, ME, MCT and CPI will be transferred to MediaCorp Pte Ltd (MPL) and the businesses and operations of MSD and TVMobile will be transferred to MediaCorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd ("MCTV"). The BUs that will remain as separate legal entities are TV Holdings Group, Press, MCNI Group, Raintree, Vizpro, MRC, SMA and 1-Net.
May 2008 : MediaCorp and Japanese animation company, Madhouse Inc are proud to announce a collaboration on a 3D CGI Japanese animation film, Yona Yona Penguin - created and produced by Madhouse Inc and French company Denis Friedman Productions.
6 June 2008 : As part of its corporate social responsibility for the environment, MediaCorp, in partnership with National Parks Board (NParks) and the PUB, the national water agency, adopts MacRitchie Reservoir Park.
17 June 2008 : MediaCorp, Singapore's national free-to-air TV operator and StarHub, Singapore's largest pay TV operator have announced their latest collaboration. MediaCorp's High Definition (HD) TV channel - HD5 - will be carried on StarHub's cable television platform in July 2008, signalling yet another step forward in the growth of HD TV services in the city state.
July 2008 : MediaCorp's Channel NewsAsia has won the Asiavision Award for the second year in a row.
July 2008 : MediaCorp and Odex Pte Ltd announced a collaboration to offer Japanese anime programmes on MediaCorp's Arts Central channel and new online anime channel AnimeTrix, available on MediaCorp's internet video on demand portal MOBTV.sg.
July 2008: RSI Radio Singapore International a shortwave service shut down
July 2008 : Launch of RAWclipx on podcast.sg.
October 2008 : Vasantham Central, MediaCorp TV12’s Tamil-language segment, expand into a fully fledged free-to-air channel. It will show up to 65 hours of programming per week, up from 29 hours before. MediaCorp launch OKTO, a new free-to-air channel featuring content similar to Arts and Kid's Central following its decision to recast Vasantham channel as a fully-fledged channel. MediaCorp TV 12 now has three TV channels Suria, Vasantham (previously Vasantham central)and okto (previously kids and arts central)
December 2008 : MediaCorp won the award 'Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year' for the second year in a row at the 13th Asian Television (ATV) Awards.
March 2009 : MediaCorp and 5 broadcasters from ASEAN inked a Memorandum of Understanding to form an alliance, called SMART Alliance, aimed at creating and delivering commercial benefits to its members.
April 2009 : MediaCorp, spearheaded by Channel NewsAsia, has been appointed an official media partner for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Channel NewsAsia will be the platform to broadcast the events and activities of the Expo, expected to be one of the largest events on the global calendar next year. The channel’s reach will help bring awareness of the Expo, which takes place from 1 May to 31 October 2010, to 22 territories in Asia.
April 2009 : Twenty-three MediaCorp websites have been awarded as Singapore's top 10 most popular websites in their respective Hitwise categories in 2008. At the latest annual Hitwise Online Performance Awards based on market share of visits, the websites of MediaCorp Radio and Channel NewsAsia have also emerged as the top websites in their respective categories for four consecutive years since the inception of the award.
Mar 2010: XinMsn joint venture with Microsoft launch
July 2010: Teo Ming Kian appointed Chairman replacing Ho Kwon Ping
December 2010 : TV Mobile cease transmission.
2012: Lucas Chow CEO resign .Shaun Seow appointed CEO
21 Jan 2013: CNA commence 24 hr transmission
2013: 50 years of TV celebration
2013: Teletext cease transmission
16 Dec 2013: All seven FTA channels transmit in digital DVBT2 format with Ch 5 Ch 8 Suria and Vasantham in HD.
1 April: XinMsn cease operation. Toggle start
4 May 2015: Okto in HD
26 May 2015: CNA in HD( ch U in 2016 and all analogue channels cease in 2018)
Sep 2015: MediaCorp invite Caldecott Hill Timers to Caldecott Hill to pay tributes to pioneers of broadcasting
2015 MediaCorp plan to move out of CaldecottHill to Mediapolis@One North Buona Vista by year end