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Warren Fernandez, 56, will be stepping down from his posts as editor-in-chief of the English/ Malay/ Tamil Media group (EMTM) and the editor of The Straits Times.
Jaime Ho, former chief editor of CNA Digital, will replace Fernandez as ST editor.
Wong Wei Kong, 54, current editor of The Business Times, will succeed Fernandez as editor-in-chief for EMTM.
Chen Huifen, 46, BT’s current executive editor, will become the BT editor.
SPH Media Trust announced the changes on Oct. 11.
According to ST, Fernandez will be leaving to pursue other professional opportunities.
SPH leadership changes
The SPH leadership changes mean that the roles of editor-in-chief for EMTM and ST editor have reverted to the previous arrangement of having two leaders helming the two senior responsibilities.
Patrick Daniel was the editor-in-chief for EMTM when Fernandez was the ST editor.
Fernandez graduated from Oxford University, reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He also obtained a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
He joined ST in 1990 as a political reporter and later became news editor. He also served as foreign editor and deputy editor.
After a stint in Royal Dutch Shell in 2008, he returned to ST as its editor in 2012.
He took over Han Fook Kwang, who was ST editor from 2002 to 2012.
In 2016, Fernandez took over Daniel as the editor-in-chief for EMTM.
As Editor-in-Chief and ST editor, Fernandez was a familiar presence at some of the biggest moments in Singapore news, such as this moment at 18 minutes 26 seconds, where he posed the first question during the press conference announcing DPM Heng Swee Keat’s stepping aside as the leader of the 4G team.
Fernandez also frequently wrote commentaries for ST with an eye on global affairs.
“It has been my honour to serve as the editor-in-chief of ST and its sister titles which so many Singaporeans rely on for credible news and views.
My colleagues and I have strived to transform our newsrooms to become multimedia news operations to meet audiences’ changing needs. This remains a work in progress, and the challenge now passes to my colleagues to take this further forward. I will be cheering them on as they do.”
Khaw Boon Wan, currently SMT’s chairman, said, “I would like to thank Warren for his extraordinary dedication to ST in the past decade”.
The former coordinating minister and PAP chairman added, “Warren has successfully paved the way for ST’s continued growth, both as a news product on multiple platforms and an established brand. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”
Ho, 49, who will succeed Fernandez, brings with him a wealth of experience from the media and public sector.
Ho spent more than 16 years as a diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holding positions such as the deputy permanent representative to the World Trade Organization and as the deputy director of public affairs.
He joined MediaCorp in 2013 as an associate editor with CNA.
In his nine years in journalism, Ho helmed the TV, radio and digital newsrooms, and was appointed chief editor of the CNA Digital newsroom.
In 2020, Ho moderated the television debate during the general election, featuring Vivian Balakrishnan of the People’s Action Party, Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party, Francis Yuen of the Progress Singapore Party, and Jamus Lim of the Workers’ Party.
He left CNA to join FGS Global, a strategic communications firm, as a partner in June 2022.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to play a role in the next phase of ST’s transformation, especially as it pushes its digital growth, and takes on the challenges of disruption in the news and media industry in Singapore and around the world.”
Top image from FGS Global and SPH.