The new online newspaper FZ.com has lost its editor, Yeap Boon Yam, just two weeks after launch. Yeap resigned on short notice apparently after differences with company management.
It is not known what these differences were, but FZ.com has not created much impact among the hardcore online news audience so far. Yeap could not be contacted for comment this afternoon. Some editorial staff were said to be surprised and downcast at his departure, and are awaiting an editorial meeting expected tomorrow to find out more.
FZ.com went online on 18 October as a general-interest online news operation. Although it is associated with The Edge, and is a sister company because of common ownership, FZ.com is run independently of the Edge, with its own editorial staff.
The newsroom comprises a mixture of people from The Edge as well as experienced journalists recruited from established outfits such as the Sun, Free Malaysia Today, and New Straits Times. More experienced reporters are expected to be recruited.FZ.com was pitched as a lightweight alternative to the heavily political diet of hard news at the other online news operations in the alternative media.
FZ’s content as well as its launch promotional activities — free Jennifer Lopez concert tickets and RM150,000 in promotional giveways — were clearly aimed at the young urbanite.
However, Yeap’s launch editorial spoke of fair and credible reporting on national and international issues “as well as events touching on the lighter side of life” — possibly a harbinger of potential conflict between an editorial wish to carry out good journalism as against the need to feed a younger set of potential readers.
Two weeks after launch FZ has not created much initial buzz among the hardcore online news audience, and it might be too early to see what impact it has created among younger audiences.
Tong to leave UEM LandThe Edge and FZ are both owned by former banker and businessman Tong Kooi Ong who was in the news today for announcing his departure in January from the board of property developers UEM Land. He said he wanted to have more time with his family and on his personal business companies.
Tong joined the board of government-linked UEM Land two years ago when it took over his successful property firm SUnrise Group, most well-known for the upscale Mont Kiara commercial and residential estate in the northwestern end of Kuala Lumpur.
Tong’s partners in Sunrise included property developer Danny Tan, brother of Berjaya billionaire Vincent Tan.
Tong has long had an interest in news media and merged his Edge business news group with Vincent Tan’s Sun newspaper in 2000. The merger unravelled two years ago when Vincent Tan bought back the paper.