General August 01, 2009 14:07 PM
BERNAMA Temporarily Suspends Involvement In 24-hour TV News
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 (Bernama) -- Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency, will temporarily suspend its involvement in Bernama TV Synergy Sdn Bhd, a joint venture which provides a 24-hour news channel on Astro TV, with effect from today, a Bernama spokesman said.
"The decision is to minimise the exposure of Bernama to losses incurred by Bernama TV Synergy, which is a joint venture between Bernama Bhd (33 per cent), Silver Ridge (Multimedia) Bhd (27 per cent), Standard Code Sdn Bhd (20 per cent) and Hallmark Entertainment Sdn Bhd (20 per cent)," he said.
The spokesman said the decision would not in any way affect the quality and delivery of its services as the national news agency.
"Bernama will review its options on its involvement in Bernama TV Synergy as soon as the financial issue affecting the parties in the joint venture is resolved," he added.
Meanwhile, Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini said in a statement that it was with much regret that he had to announce the temporary suspension of the national news agency's involvement in Bernama TV Synergy.
"We have decided on this course of action after a thorough evaluation of the current financial situation affecting Bernama TV Synergy.
"As chairman, I would like to assure that the delivery and quality of Bernama's existing services in its operation as the national news agency will continue to be maintained at the highest level," he said.
Bernama sues Bernama. The writing had been on the wall almost from the start. On his blog, YB Wee Choo Keong in March questioned here the legitimacy of using the name (and resources) of Bernama for a tv op run by politically-connected individuals with little track record.
Wee brought the matter up in Parliament, as well, after it was clear that Bernama TV was draining the resources of Bernama. Losses amounted to millions; in April by the time I wrote the posting Annuar Zaini's Baby, it had reached RM14 million.
Wee's latest posting Bernama sues Bernama TV marks an end that is near. The journalists I spoke to at the national news agency said it's time Annuar Zaini does the right thing: RESIGN!