Monday, July 17, 2006


103, 369... Ad agencies had a peek at some sorry numbers from Balai Berita the other day.

Except for Harian Metro, the other newspapers in the stable have been doing badly, according to latest figures approved by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (the latest audit is for June-Dec 2005, approved on 15 June 2006 for the ad agencies).

Berita Harian lost its lead to Utusan Malaysia.

Malay Mail went back to pre-2002 levels (this was before the re-launch of the tabloid in May this year).

And NST?*

The flagship newspaper did 138,896 copies.

Bad enough but worse if you consider that this was made possible by selling papers at half price to primary schools, hotels, and Malaysia Airlines (50 per cent** is the maximum discount allowed by the ABC for a sale to be included in its audit).

Minus the half-priced copies, the NST was doing just 103,369 copies.

The STAR sold 309,029 copies during the same period. And minus the half-priced*** copies, it did 280,891 copies.

* The NST's annual average for 2005 should be about 139,000 copies. Shareholders at the recent NSTP AGM will remember the CEO saying that the NST's circulation since going "Compact" was "around 145,000 copies".

** 1 in every 4 copies of NST is sold at half the cover price of RM1.20.

*** 1 in every 10 copies The STAR is sold at half the cover price, which is also RM1.20.









138,896 ( sales: 103,369 reduced rates: 35,527 @50%)





154,439 (sales: 121,663 reduced rates: 32,776 @50%)





35,696 (sales: 34,611 reduced rates: 1085 @50%)





48,094 (sales: 46,093 reduced rates: 2001 @50%)





205,555 (sales: 184,998 reduced rates: 20,557 @50%)





341,759 (sales: 329,217 reduced rates: 12,542 @50%)





241,860 (sales: 241,081 reduced rates: 779 @50%)





253,418 (sales: 252,913 reduced rates: 505 @50%)





309,029 (sales: 280,981 reduced rates: 28,048 @50%)





318,957 (sales; 300,594 reduced rates: 18,363 @50%)





212,255 (sales: 207,006 reduced rates: 5,249 @50%)





487,977 (sales; 485,950 reduced rates: 2,027 @50%)

Notes: BH has lost its leadership in July 05 to Dec 05. UM regained the position.
Harian Metro is the best Bahasa paper. As for English dailies, NST declined from 139,517 to 138,896 with 35K from schools & sponsorship. MM slipped back to its original sales in 02/03 at 35K.

Source: ABC latest update to agencies dated 15/6/06


  1. Anonymous10:03 pm

    Damn you bru and damn too the NSTP management and editors. Why publish the figures? We as investors are already dead. I am not surprise if Kali will sell it back to Singapore Straits Times. So much for compact and spinning journalism. So much for the foreign correspondents that now run the group. Congrats Pak Lah for your brilliant choice. What better way to kill the NST.

  2. Anonymous10:34 pm

    Why do I hate Kali & gang?

    Ya, u should be proud of yourself are a traitor of the highest order!!!

    Damn u, damn you kali!!

  3. Anonymous10:38 pm

    brudder rocky, i believe the figures for 2006 will be much better. anyway, after all the revamp and the hype, why is the nst still not making headway. rocky, can you provide the answer since you were part of the establishment. you cannot run away from responsibility. you were part of it. i believe you are not going to gloat over the figures. anyway, brendan pereira has got a lot to answer for it. brendan, if you are reading this blog, please answer. don't hide. be a man. tell us what happened. you are the man who call the shots.

  4. Anonymous11:19 pm


    Maybe Brendan does visit this blog. I hope he does...and see how much he is loved by the bloggers here. Hehehe.

    But I think he aint jantan enuff to respond.



  5. Anonymous12:00 am

    NST's day are numbered when it went tabloid to challenge the Star. Unfortunately it failed miserably. And at what price? The price of a reduced ad earning.
    At least when it was a broadsheet revenue for a full page ad is that much more than a tabloid page since a broadsheet page is doubled that of a tabloid plus the NST broadsheet page was sold at a premium.
    So that premium was now lost. And the NST has nothing to show for that sacrifice.
    When you put NST and the Star side by side what do you get? They are about the same. The NST can't show that it is offering more than what the Star is offering to get the Star's readers to swith.
    Whatever the NST is doing the Star follows just to show its readers that NST is not offering anything better than the Star.
    So the change to tabloid is for nothing. But yet at the same time it continues to lose its traditional readers without getting any new (and younger) readers. So naturally its circulation will continue to drop.
    Was this not Kalli's intention in the first place - to quicken the paper's demise?
    The same with the Malay Mail. It is now nothing more than a lousy entertainment rag. It seems that the new people running the paper is of the opinion that their readers do not want news but gossip. So you sacrifice news for dirt (read sexual inuendoes). It is neither here nor there. So is it a surprise that it will not make much headway?
    Unfortunately that change will also be the deathknell for the paper.
    Isn't it so bro?
    And yet the people in Umno seems to be oblivious to what is happening in the NST. So again what gives?

  6. Anonymous12:03 am

    Who is Syed Faizal anyway to worry about the figures. He came in parachuted. Hishamuddin Aun knows nothing about news paper business and dia syok sendiri..cakap besar boleh lah konon dia pandai while Brendan spin,spin and spin. Harap Hishamuddin sedar diri dan balik ke pangkal jalan. jangan pandai berjanji dengan staff tapi habuk pun tarak. Kali has never been an editor. He was a reporter for different newspapers. Nothing great about these people lah...podah.


  7. Anonymous12:20 am

    Climate control in the Singapore Press

    Eric Ellis

    The Australian
    June 21, 2001

    You don't have be a spook to be a Singaporean journalist. But it doesn't hurt

    I'm sitting in the tiny office of Cheong Yip Seng, editor-in-chief of
    Singapore's The Straits Times. And he's waxing lyrical about the paper and
    its contribution to the tiny South-East Asian nation that he's seen leap
    from Third World slum to First World wonder.

    Cheong, 57, has been with the paper since 1963. He's proud of the paper and
    its contribution to modern Singapore. And he's proud, too, of the former
    intelligence operatives in his newsroom.

    There's Chua Lee Hoong, the ST's most prominent political columnist. She
    might be Singapore's Maureen Dowd, except The New York Times's Dowd didn't
    work with the secret police for nine years. There's Irene Ho on the foreign
    desk. She was also an "analyst" with Singapore's intelligence services. So,
    says Cheong, was Susan Sim, his Jakarta correspondent.

    And there's Cheong's boss, Tjong Yik Min. From 1986 to 1993, Tjong was
    Singapore's most senior secret policeman, running the much feared Internal
    Security Department, a relic of colonial Britain's insecurities about
    communism in its Asian empire. Now Tjong is a media mogul, the executive
    president of SPH, Singapore's virtual print media giant, which controls all
    but one of the country's newspapers.

    I ask the affable Cheong, as the "journalist's journalist" he says he is,
    if he's comfortable having such people in powerful positions on his
    editorial staff and, indeed, running the company. "Why not?" he beams.
    "These guys have good analytical minds . . . they are all kindred spirits."

    What's wrong with this picture? For many Singaporeans, nothing. After 42
    years of comfortable living in a near one-party state, and a wealthy one at
    that, it's what you've come to expect.

    You want to bet with your life that they don't spy on malaysia using their agents.

  8. Anonymous2:21 am

    I think Kali and Brendan cannot wait to leave the NST. Like rats that toppled the lamp that causes the ship to burn, they'll be the first to abandon ship.
    But I was told they are not allowed to leave. The wisdom is, if they leave, people may think that PM is succumbing to pressure. Pak Lah cannot be seen to buckle under pressure.
    So Kali and Brendan will stay, nicely tucked in the lifeboat, while the ship called the NSTP burns.
    Tq Jeff Ooi for pointing me to the film V For Vendetta. It was brilliant. It's very much like today's Malaysia with spooks and spin doctors.
    I recommend journalists to watch the movie if you haven't yet.
    Rocky, you said Nazri Aziz is a teetotaller? Phew, I am relieve. But you're a journalist.....You can spin the truth.

  9. On NST: I have been wishing its demise ever seen DKL took over. I thought DKL was a big monster, until Hindu God-Muslim Priest (HGMP) took over: Someone with many hands, many faces, and the zealousness of a firebrand Muslim orator. Now DKL looked very much like Pak Lah compared to HGMP.

    On Singapore: She is a dynamic country, blessed with people who can think. People who can think will think long term for survival. They have excelled in making Singapore a fine country and intend to spread their tentacles to consolidate their grips. What else do you expect from brilliant people? Sitting idle in their yachts sipping Chardonnay? I don't think so.

  10. interesting figures :-)

  11. nstman!

    i'm afraid the figures for 2006 will not be much better. many of the one-year contracts signed with the schools are expiring from this month onwards. the Sun is eating into sales at hotels and if they go aggressive with their free paper, which they seem to be doing, nst could lose a big chunk of of the hotel segment. in any case, you don't want to be selling too many copies at half the price as it hurts revenues. unless you are desperate.

    remember when nst first went compact and kali hastily announced a meteoric increase in sales in the compact's first few days? well, the novelty is gone; nst is just a tabloid now and seems to have gone the way of the "old" malay mail (except that the old malay mail was better at being the old malay mail!)
    the dream was to achieve 180,000 copies.

    as for the malay mail, they did say they were expecting the numbers to go down before they go up. the market is talking about it doing sub-30k now.

    harian metro will face a new competition in the east coast from next month - a new daily. by next year, it will have a FREE bahasa daily to contend with in central. it does not help that lately BH seems to be competing with Harian Metro for the sex&gore staff (in the same way NST wanted a share of the old Malay Mail's fun).

    and i can't gloat over the poor nst figures, nstman. it hurts me to report them, especially when we all know that the people responsible - the foreign correspondents that now run the group, to borrow from nasi beringin - are in nst for their own sake. they never had it in them to take nst anywhere and they don't really give a damn if they don't.

  12. Anonymous10:32 am

    Circulation jatuh takpe bang, tapi ads revenue pun jatuh bang. Abang ada figures ads revenue tak. Dulu masa I kerja kat sana, sales iklan not bad lah bang. Tapi, dengar cerita hari ini teruk sesangat lah. Kalau circulation jatuh, takde orang nak masuk ads la kut. Kesian Syed Faizal. I tengok dia dalam surat khabar, buat muka kesian je. Tapi lain dengan abang Hisham kita, nampak hidung tinggi sikit. Kawan-kawan I pun kata gitu. Tapi tak apalah kut.....I dengan dia masih OK...berlagak sikit aje...biasalah tu orang inferiority complexs...sebab tak tau pasal newspaper business. I tak boleh bayangkan, kalau Kali berenti, kat siapalah dia nak bergayut. Rocky, you balik ajelah kat NST tu.


  13. Anonymous12:38 pm

    How can the circulation of the NST & MM increase when even SFA & Kali ignores the problems within the circulation department? They seem to be interested in “bulk” sales, sales at reduced prices only. They don’t seem to be interested in the “real” sales, the sales at outlets. The new head for circulation does not know anything about newspaper sales (heard from telco company). What is SFA doing? Only cutting cost thro VSS (and getting rid of good people, like you bro) and selling assets. SFA is the CEO, and he should be accountable for the problems, or is Kali running the company? 3 years already for SFA yet downtrend, and what happens, Board extends his contract, this only happens in Bolehland.

  14. Anonymous12:57 pm

    Haha!! Cheers to Sun, Star, MM'sia & HMetro.

    I'm very sure The Malay Mail's 1/7/03-30/6/04 looks good because of MM had opened regional offices in Penang, Ipoh, Malacca & JB at that time.

    NSTP could've made The Malay Mail an excellent performer had it not close down the MM offices in those four cities.

    Damn, I was told at that time MM was even planning to grow some more in the East Coast and even Sarawak & Sabah.

    But noooooo. Instead, it chose to save the very-ill NST (which was not surprising at all). Rather than find a good solution, it took the easy way which resulted in killing MMail instead. Copy MM, size, concept and all.

    Now, this is what you get. BOTH NST & MM suffer.

  15. Anonymous1:12 pm

    22 Questions

    Bru, to keep the NST spinners busy and to help them arrest the slide in their sales of their newspapers, I am posing the following 22 questions to Pak Lah. Khairy, Kali, Brendan and Gunasegaran are welcomed to spin the answers. You are welcomed to add 22 more.

    Dear Mr Prime Minister,

    1. Why don’t you answer the old Mahathir yourself?
    2. Do you know that Syed Hamid was booed trying to explain the bridge issue to an Umno branch in Selangor? (He happily told friends that he was booed).
    3. Do you know that Umno members walked out of the hall when Muhyiddin tried to explain the issue in Johor? (He too happily related the incident to his friends).
    4. Do you know that Zahid Hamidi was shown the gate by UM undergraduates when he remarked that old Mahathir was senile?
    5. Do you know that many Umno Ministers are afraid to explain the bridge and other issues raised by the old Mahathir to the people?
    6. Do you know that non-Umno Ministers are more sympathetic towards old Mahathir than being loyal to you?
    7. Do you know that 50 per cent of senior civil servants, student leaders, community heads and political activists who attended a recent Biro Tatanegara indoctrination course rejected your leadership in a secret Q&A?
    8. Do you know that Umno branches are finding it hard to get members to attend their annual general meetings?
    9. Do you know that the majority of Umno divisional leaders (except in Kepala Batas, maybe), who are small time contractors, have abandoned party work to concentrate on their struggling businesses?
    10. Do you know that your son-in-law is now a danger to you and Umno as he is playing his own game in cahoots with certain Umno Supreme Council members so that his upward climb will not be affected should you fall as a result of the attack by old man Mahathir?
    11. Do you know that your son-in-law, in cahoots with Kali and their ECM Libra associates have told Singapore businessmen, including Ong Beng Seng, that if they want anything in Malaysia, they come and see him?
    12. Do you know that your son-in-law has been seen in the company of actresses and starlets, thanks to ECM Libra being appointed the adviser to Sultan of Selangor’s Killinghall Berhad in the Southern Bank-CIMB deal? (Kavita Kaur is a film producer and Maya Karin is her star performer).
    13. Do you know that the people know that your Scomi son is the official contract negotiator for government? Even Airbus Industrie top guns were sent by your office to see him?
    14. Do you know that the rakyat know that while you promise them open tender, your Scomi son is getting billion ringgit worth of negotiated contracts from Petronas and the international oil companies?
    15. Do you know that people know that you used the ISA to save your Scomi son from the CIA by putting his Sri Lankan business partner in jail?
    16. Do you know that in many Police Districts, patrol cars are laid off three to four days a week because of insufficient petrol supply?
    17. Do you know that the poor police witnesses in court cases are no longer being paid on the spot for their court appearances because “the police have no money”? They have to wait for weeks or even months for the miserly amounts to be credited to their accounts – if they have one.
    18. Do you know that the police are now supporting the formation of the IPCMC because they have agreed among themselves that if they called before the Commission they will reveal political interference in their investigations like the one affecting a Minister’s thieving son?
    19. Do you know that the people are being impoverished and their lives endangered by your IMF-inspired balanced budget policy, by fuel prices increases, by higher electricity and local government rates, by higher interest rates, by poor ROI, by worsening corruption, escalating crime rate and rising unemployment?
    20. Do you know that the staff members of your private office and your scheming media operators, in addition to your family members, are your biggest liabilities?
    21. Do you know that sooner or later the rakyat will start asking why you should spend RM15 million to renovate and refurbished Sri Perdana when they are getting poorer and poorer? (Some estimates say the real cost has gone up to RM30 million and the contractor has bolted).
    22. Do you know that you are a laughing stock when, on the one hand, you promote modal insan (human capital) and your ministers are encouraging health tourism you went to Australia for a simple sinus surgery? (The old man Mahathir had his coronary bypass operation done by Malaysian doctors at Kuala Lumpur General 15 years ago).

  16. Anonymous1:28 pm

    The great newspaper sales & marketing campaign of 1987

    IN Oct 27, 1987, the decade when women made-up their faces with garish overtones, male mullets were the rage and all fashion slaves emulated the cool dudes and babes of Miami Vice, the Malaysian newspapers’ world most revolutionary sales & marketing campaign was unwittingly launched by the Special Branch.
    It has to be made known here that none of the newspapers’ editors or their sales or marketing or circulation managers were aware of such a campaign or that it was the drop-kick of two contrasting fortunes on the long-term circulation and ad revenue for the New Straits Times and The Star.
    Admittedly, it was a cockeyed S & M campaign, propelled surrealistically with the subtlety of a stun grenade blast but the reverberation simmered against the backdrop of massive Internal Security Act arrests, closures of two dailies and one weekly and, as you can imagine, general fear and paranoia. Viewed from the MTV angle, the Special Branch’s dispersive power harmonised with the apt rhythm of The Police’s Every Breath You Take. The Far Eastern Economic Review reported so then.
    Anyway, like all good S & M campaigns, this particularly aggressive barnstorm had an ungainly weedy name – Ops Lalang. And it germinated from a silly protest over vernacular Chinese schools getting Chinese senior assistants and principals who were not Mandarin-educated, aggravated by a deranged soldier who fired a M-16 rifle in Chow Kit that killed three people. Predictably, the security forces went on full alert soon after the arrests were administered and the soldier arrested.
    Ironically, the detentions were very politically correct. Political correct? Why yes. The 100 detainees’ racial composition were spread nicely over all races and political and NGO representations. It may be a while before this muhibbah madness is replicated.
    The newspapers that ensured that the pungency of printing ink and high-decibel web rush of printing machines were neither smelled nor heard in the next six months were not too politically correct – no Tamil vernacular paper or NGO publications were shut down while The Star (MCA-owned, independently critical of Government), Watan (Malay-owned, also independently critical of Government) and Sin Chew Jit Poh (Chinese-owned but I wonder of their bent) were snuffed faster than you can scream “stop the presses.”
    But enough of the history lesson as we return to the newspapers S & M campaign. Whoever conceived it then (disgraced ex-IGP Rahim Noor was the Special Branch supremo then while Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Home Minister. You do the math) did The Star a supreme favour while at the same time, permanently killed whatever ambitions the NST had of dominating the English-reading market. You could say it was a solstice of sort in the newspaper heavens.
    By the way, bro, did you extract the sorry numbers from AC Nielsen? If you did, you can expect the same song and dance routine Kalimullah Hassan jigged last year when a similar bunch of sorry figures came out. Kali rounded up chief accomplice Ho Kay Tat of The Edge/The Sun to browbeat Nielsen’s methodology in collecting the numbers. I think it failed to move AC Nielsen.
    How did the 1987 S & M campaign boosted The Star’s fortunes and bedraggled the NST’s?
    After The Star’s forcible closure, the NST had the entire English-speaking heartland at its disposal but really, it was the beginning of its ineluctable mudslide, though it didn’t look like that then as circulation soared beyond 250,000. The NST simply scooped up readers of The Star as they inadvertently filled the void but they would have known that the readers they amassed then would have been a highly resentful and cynical lot.
    The NST’s “illusion of circulation grandeur” lasted barely six months and as soon as The Star was permitted by the Government to resume publication albeit as a neutered entity, the resentment that lingered was cathartically released like a held-down tsunami –The Star’s former readers, plus some of NST’s disillusioned pack, made waves of exodus to The Star and thus began the unstoppable downfall of the Grand Ole Dame.
    Even if they wanted to, The Star’s Steven Tan or Ng Poh Tip cannot brag about conceiving fantastic strategies or visionary planning that precipitated its hokum fortune today. They simply should go down on all fours and worship the Special Branch for conceiving that brilliant S & M campaign that changed the tide of its business.
    From 1987 onwards, The Star ultimately reached the acme of envied newspaper nirvana – phenomenal circulation (for an English daily), advertisers first choice for placements leading to cushy jobs for their ad/marketing managers, inevitably colossal ad revenue, delirious workers earning fat annual bonuses, ebullient stock prices and, ludicrously, a delighted MCA that can use and have used The Star as a political device while contented in the knowledge that its readers still inanely perceive the newspaper as “critical” of the Government.
    In 18 years, The Star morphed into a fat, groaning-on-its weight advertising rag that has all but dispense its solid, pre-1987 journalism, simply satisfied with super lightweight reporting that refuses to rub anyone raw much so controversially and carrying a leaden baggage – paranoia (forever looking over their shoulders), inferiority complex (shamelessly copying NST’s editorial/design values to compensate for lack of ideas) and illogical subservience (looking to Kali for the divine signal whether certain stories are printable or spikable).
    Oh, by the way, the Sith Lord was just a regular NST specialist writer when the S & M campaign was launched so you may rule him out of any role in this sordid venture though some of you may naturally think otherwise.
    And the NST? The senior editors then (P. C. Shivadas and his successor A. Kadir Jasin) may have had the nagging feeling that the S & M campaign of 1987 would be bad for the newspaper’s future outlook because the backlash from Ops Lalang would slam the NST with the obvious ill effects.
    Conversely, there was no way Kadir could prevent a readership tsunami that abandoned in the thousands a newspaper that was conveniently dragged into the incorrigible pandering to the Government of Dr Mahathir then. The NST paid for this hapless folly in the later years, and now, with the sorry numbers that blights Balai Berita and their dwindling circulation figures, as chronicled in Rocky’s Bru, trailing back to the 1987.
    And this is the rub I’m getting at, even without delving into the accursed years of 1998 (which Kadir can claim sole responsibility) and the scuzzy years of 2004-2006 still playing its scenes as I write this piece. But the two eras will be surmised in another depressing day.
    The Special Branch S & M campaign that bolstered The Star meant that it was a reversal of fortune for the NST, which cannot depend on its Umnoputra godfathers and the party to cure it of its sickly circulation and retarded readership. Unlike the MCA’s enviable position where playing politics also means good business, the NST stands accused of abusing its position, succumbing to political manipulation for commercial gains…yadda, yadda, yadda. You get my drift.
    The Star certainly did not assume a hangdog look over the Nielsen’s numbers which favoured dubiously, too dubiously it would seem, the MCA-owned and Chinese-bent daily. Why should they when they are minting money, much of it going back to the MCA’s war chest?
    At this rate, The Star could continue for the next decade living off their sweetheart Nielsen’s numbers and for all they care, the NST’s editors and management could commit seppuku for the dishonour of falling behind in the great numbers game and inability to capitalise on the great S & M campaign of 1987.

  17. Anonymous1:34 pm

    U r right. The foreign correspondents that are now lording it over the loyal locals in the NST now don't care about the fate of the paper nor the wellbeing of its staff. To them, NST serve its its purpose. And that agenda is wholly approved and has the full blessing from the people in the green dome in Putrajaya...

  18. Anonymous2:07 pm

    someone said that it was Kali's grand scheme to kill the NST so that another party would buy it. That notion was quickly pooh-poohed simply because it was just too incredible. Why would someone want to do that? NST, sliding circulation figures aside, is an institution. It has history. Only an enemy of the paper would do that.
    Well, sometimes fiction has a way of turning out to be true. It may still be a notion. Let us all see. But, we could all also look back and see what has been happening to the NST since Kali took over.
    Kali got rid of a lot of good people. Sure, among them maybe not-so-good, but sentiments aside, many good people left or were compelled to leave. And if you think that they are not good or useless, I can name each and every one (old or new) at the NST who does not deserve to be in his/her position. But we won't go to that. Let them live for it is not their fault that Kali has put them there.
    Remember that Kali was never an editor. First, he had an axe to grind at the NST. He himself is a very vengeful person. (As though you didnt know). Still, you can disregard that bit of subjective information. I shall not repeat the things that he had done (or had not) since he came to NST nor will I name the people he had brought in.
    The damage has been done. And when Kali and Brendan leave, (which they will when they are inst5ucted to), there is nothing much anyone can do. But, my suspicion is that the NST would be taken over by a Singapore-based company that will turn it around. It will probably be good for the NST. NST shares will go up. But there will be a price to pay. Those calling the shots will be Singaporeans or Singapore-appointed officers. Better, their special branch agents.
    Have a nice day.

  19. Anonymous4:06 pm

    It was said some folks at the 'new' Malay Mail are happy with the performace of their current Weekend Mail's readership of 60k.
    Point to ponder: the old Sunday Mail (RIP) had a circulation of 45k while MM's circulation on Saturday was about 30k (correct me if I am wrong Rocky). The new Weekend Mail is streached over 2 days, thus 60k divided by two days is 30k each.
    Therefore the numbers have gone down instead if not remained the same. Simple maths. Sigh!

  20. Anonymous4:13 pm

    Those who concerned running NSTP group including all the editors incharge of each particular newspapers must resign enblock fail to improve circulation and ads revenue by year end. Don't blame we, the staff. You all should blame your self first. Kepala must go first lah. baru adil. MESTI PAHAM PUNYA LAH.


  21. Anonymous9:55 pm

    When someone told me last May that Brendan was leaving 'for sure', I said, "Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it." Sure enough, he never went.
    And every time Kali visits the newsdesk, I get a sick feeling in my stomach.

  22. Man from Paya Terubung!

    Go ahead, feel relieved, man. But I spin nothing. I wrote of what I knew, I wrote of the past. If Nazri has changed and enjoys what I thought he did not then, I must say I have not been keeping up with the times.

    BY the way, I like your rats-burning ship-lifeboat analogy, it's fab!

  23. Anonymous12:45 am

    Bru Bro,

    I'm not surprised the sales drop in Balai Berita. You add the number of years the CEO, the GEIC, the GE, and the Dep Chairman, have in real newspaper operations, and you'll know why the sales drop. Advertising is run by peope who knows little or nothing about advertising. Badrul, for eg, is better at golf than selling space. Circulation bosses, they hardly circulate. Editorial - the group editors think they are custodian of the product and often screws up advertising campaigns. Ask Pat Wahid, she'll tell you. In another plc, these people will have to resign. Or sacked. They don't care and they don't know the business. They have no self-respect, let alone the genuine respect of their subordinates.

  24. Anonymous2:37 am

    why am i not surprised that the nst is going to the toilet?
    the senior editorial members and management never cared about good staff leaving the company. they chose to retain those who pandai kipas to safeguard themselves. you may be good and loyal to the company but if you did not belong to a particular camp or seen polishing the right people you will get nowhere.
    this is very sad and i have experienced this myself.
    can the nst truly be honest by saying promotions are given out of merit?
    they rather run the paper with new recruits and half past six reporters than those who can think and have ideas.
    what kind of quality do you expect from a newspaper when you have a new generation of reporters who don't even know what questions to ask.
    whether or not there is a grand scheme or conspiracy to bring the newspaper organisation down is anyone's guess.
    my belief it was the result of its own doing. what do you expect when you have a marketing team that is also not hungry to secure advertisements? it's so obvious - try placing a classifieds and see if they don't screw such a simple order up.
    so to the nst i say - good luck to you...

  25. Anonymous10:26 am

    We pray so hard each day so that the next day would be a better day.
    We work hard at our job, meet the deadline. We dont play politics.We dont ampu Kali, Brendan, Hishmam and God knows who else. \All we want is for our paper to do better. Be a real newspaper. But who are we kidding?
    The day Kali stepped into Balai Berita was the beginning of the end for the NST.
    He came, swashbuckling and all, berated the former editorial management. As if saying " I am here to help the paper. Increase circulation and get rid of all the baggage left by your old bosses!" He said he would implement meritocracy, eradicate cronyism! Here is my MIDDLE finger, Kali.
    A senior editor who had had enough of all this amateurish work of a bunch of jokers said that THAT would be the last thing Kali wants -- sharp editors/journalists. Real journalists.Because he would want yesmen/women, subservient underlings, baruahs and kadams, he would have to implement mediocracy. Look what HE did to you, bro. He thinks we are stupid. As though we could not see that you were SUCH a threat to him. The Malay Mail was such a threat to him. Aah...and Brendan... aaah. Without the Pak Lah-stamp, they are nothing. And they know that.
    To be fair, there are still some very good editors left. But soon they would have to be sidelined for the likes of editors with very very dubious background and lack of record. There are already one or two in the (editorial)hierarchy. That is a laugh. I mean they are a laugh. But, you know that that is no laughing matter.
    So, what do you think? And why do you think the NST is sliding down the scale. ANd the Star and the Sun are having a good time. And laughing.

  26. Anonymous10:34 am

    if i were an NST employee, I would sue the person responsible (in the NST), for causing the NST to go down the drain.
    I would also seek redress or whatever legal redress available to me, to rid Kali and all the agents of a foreign power Because it is in my interest. I will get to the bottom of this. Is it true that they are agents of a foreign government? I mean this is a very very dangerous accusation. And if it is true, then it is a very very dangerous situation the NST is in. The NST is not like any other PLC. Come on, we all know that. These agents, imcluding Kali, should not be in the NST. Sure, Kali is not the GEIC, but he is a Putrajaya-appointed man in the NST. ANd this is the NST, we are talking about. It is the media arm of Umno. Umno is the backbone of the government. And, we are not talking about Malay interest. It is national interest. It must be if it is the PM who is the only person who has the power to appoint the NST boss.

  27. Anonymous12:15 pm

    Well rumours have it that that ars***** brendan is gonna stick around for another eight months as nst editor after his term expires next month.... well, brother anonymous says "maybe brendan does visit this blog". I am sure he does but that ars***** and Lord Kali has blocked rockybru from being accessed by nst reporters at the bureau levels. This much I can say, nst went to the dogs long ago but their present day attempt to be a better breed had been unsuccessful. Nothing brendan or kali or their other cohoots do can put the paper on a high pedestal... and the spin-doctoring... oh God! that is unbelievable.

  28. (Bro Rocky... I know this is a few days late, but better than never)

    The loud KERRRRUNCHH I hear is the mainstream media's paradigm shifting without a clutch....

    My 2-bits worth:

    2-bits #1: The Sun did the right thing in riding the new-tech wave, free hard-copy, free online ePaper, and up-to-the-minute web-based (although they could improve in this department). The factor here being going electronic. And to a lay-person such as myself, the ad revenue seems to be at a level enough to sustain them.

    2-bits #2: The mainstream media's lack of credibility in providing real news, versus candy-coated establishment-friendly news nuggets (tasty, but zero nutritional value), is finally showing up in the circ. numbers - my guess is the public has had enough. But credibility is very subjective, though... Furthermore, a person who's seen to be a proven liar, even if repentant, will find that others will be cynical of what he/she says. Credibility, once broken, will take a long time to fix.

    2-bits #2.5: The exception of Harian Metro can be attributed to the Malay demographic's penchant for gossip and sensationalism. This will probably, over time, be true of KOSMO! as well.

    2-bits #3: The availability of alternative news sources that are more "credible" (again, this is very subjective). International media is seen, generally speaking, to have more credibility compared to Government-linked domestic media. The suspicion of obfuscation by the local mainstream media will always be there - made worse by the fact that in a number of cases, it turns out that there was a certain amount of selective obfuscation.

    Personally, I don't see the circulation trend for hard-copy changing any time soon. News has to be fair and accurate.

    Regaining credibility will be difficult for the mainstream media, despite the environment (seemingly) being more liberal today.

    But then again, I believe every media outlet, without exception (regardless where or whom), will have its own bias on any given issue, so the best approach is always to take in as many differing sources, then make up your own mind.

  29. Anonymous4:56 pm

    Rocky, please go check NST and Star annual report side by side. Those information measure both papers better than any survey agency.

    Even NST circulation maintian status quo, they will no survive any long term cost turbulance.