Print media remains profitable (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – Far from becoming a dying breed in the Philippines, print media remains a very profitable business and is expected to continue doing so for more years to come, The Philippine STAR Media Group and BusinessWorld Publishing Corp. chief executive officer Miguel G. Belmonte said.

In an interview at the sidelines of the Management Association of the Philippines International CEO conference yesterday, Belmonte told The STAR the newspaper publishing business remains a money-maker despite the growing popularity of online media platforms.

“So far, we’ve been showing that we can do it. The company is still very profitable. Penetration of all these new media is growing every year and yet the company is able to sustain its profits over the past five, six years,” he said.

Belmonte said The Philippine STAR’s move to venture into other multimedia platforms is hardly a sign it is slowly letting go of its traditional print business.

Rather, he said it is a move seen to further strengthen the business and adapt to the fast-changing technological landscape.

“If you don’t innovate, the lifespan of your company is going to be very short. A company like ours, in the context of newspaper publishing, we have no choice because it’s becoming more of a digital world. We’re living in a digital age so all of these forms of media are coming around so if we don’t move into those, then we’re just shortening our own lifespan. Our strategy is to still build our traditional business even while we’re entering into new media,” Belmonte said.

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The Philippine STAR Media Group last July acquired 76.63 percent of BusinessWorld in a move seen to strengthen the leading business daily’s distribution and operations.

Belmonte said The Philippine STAR has no plans of further hiking its stake in BusinessWorld at the moment.

Likewise, he said the Belmonte family is likely to hang on to its minority stake in The Philippine STAR where the Manuel V. Pangilinan Group of Companies last year took majority ownership.

“Print media will not just go away because we believe it is going to be around for many more years and it’s still going to be very profitable for many years to come. All our newspapers are available in mobile, online, and other digital forms but we’re still going to earn from the traditional newspaper business,” Belmonte said.

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