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HCMC newspaper to change owner, layoff expected

HCMC newspaper to change owner, layoff expected

Monday, January 06, 2014, 14:11 GMT+7

On Jan 2, Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee instructed the Trade and Investment Promotion Center to encourage staff at Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Saigon marketing) newspaper to comply with the committee’s decision to merge the paper with the Saigon Times Group.

As decided, the Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper will cease operations and merge with the Saigon Times Group by Mar 1 due to financial difficulties.

Saigon Times Group, the parent firm that manages several publications including the English-language Saigon Times Weekly and Daily, plans to use Saigon Tiep Thi’s brand name to issue a new publication under the same name.

Thus, the future Sai Gon Tiep Thi will be managed by Saigon Times Group, not the Trade and Investment Promotion Center, as it is now.

Saigon Times Group has announced it will hold recruitment exams to re-recruit some of Saigon Tiep Thi’s 107 reporters and staff members after the merger, meaning many of them will face unemployment.

Fearful of layoff

In late December 2013, the Saigon Tiep Thi staff unanimously filed a letter to the leaders of the HCMC People’s Committee, requesting that the merging decision be annulled. They stated that they were willing to tolerate delays in salaries and royalty payments as long as their newspaper could survive another three to five years under the management of the Trade and Investment Promotion Center.

Recently, Saigon Tiep Thi reporters and staff expressed their frustration and concerns on Facebook, saying that some of Saigon Times Group’s publications don’t fare much better than their own.

Founded in 1995, Saigon Tiep Thi is one of the country’s most popular papers. Following the merger, its headquarters will be sold to pay off its debts.

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