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Redberry denies ‘Insider’ takeover but…

Tue 2013-May-14 @ MYT 19:03:03 pm

Malay Mail publisher Redberry Sdn Bhd is not taking over Malaysian Insider, according to KiniBiz, the business news site of Malaysiakini. Redberry owner Siew Ka Wei told KiniBiz’s Jose Barrock: “Redberry is not buying Malaysian Insider, and you can quote me on that.”

News of a Redberry-Insider deal broke three weeks ago at FZ.com, the online stablemate of the Edge, both of which are owned by tycoon Tong Kooi Ong. FZ later changed its story in the face of a denial by the Insider, but said Redberry was moving to take over Insider staff after the elections, rather than buying up the property.

Share on Facebook   Edge publisher Tong has long had an interest in media, having merged the Edge with The Sun for a spell before Sun owner Vincent Tan took it back. Tong was also a major backer of the Nut Graph web site.

Redberry’s Siew is also said to been on expanding his media holdings, after having bought over the Malay Mail, and a short-lived deal to handle Bernama TV. It also publishes the Malaysian Reserve, and has holdings in outdoor advertising, from which it derives most of its revenue.

KiniBiz quote an anonymous market-watcher as saying that “there is surely something brewing” despite Siew’s denial of the Insider deal. “The rumour is just too strong, he may take control in some other manner.”

Company records quoted by KiniBiz showed that the Insider had current assets of RM186,728, RM2.67 million in short term debt, and negative reserves of almost RM2.5 million.

Redberry’s parent company, chemicals firm Ancom lost RM15.45 million on a revenue of RM1.51 billion in the nine months of the financial year, KiniBiz said.

» KiniBiz: Redberry not taking over Insider

» FZ.com: Redberry trying to buy over Insider staff

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3 Comments
  1. draken permalink
    Thu 2013-May-16 @ MYT 17:18:45 pm 17:18

    In simple terms, Redberry is trying to pinch some editorial staff from Malaysian Insider to cross over and help, according to sources, boost its Malay Mail website, probably taking it to the next level as a viable news portal. At present, if you check out the MM site, it’s a like a rubbish dump of news, very poorly organised, a mark of amateurism on the part of the present people handling it.

  2. illuminati permalink
    Fri 2013-May-17 @ MYT 00:09:04 am 00:09

    “Redberry is not buying Malaysian Insider, and you can quote me on that.” — so says Siew Kah Wei.

    What Datuk Siew is saying is correct. The speculation is that he’s not buying M Insider, he’s just dangling a huge carrot to lure about 20 over editorial staff (according to little birds) over to Redberry Group — and for two reasons (according to some analysts).:

    One — just like what Najib did to Perak, Siew is ‘buying’ these 20 plus journalists including CEO/Editor Jahabar Sadiq to pump up pro-BN Malay Mail and maybe The Malaysian Reserve, too. And using their expertise to turn MM website into a more professional one as a news portal. In simple language — a defection of sort with ‘attractive’ sum given to some of the senior journalists in shares (according to one little bird).

    Two — As some quarters are pointing out, Siew is one of those riding the gravy train of Umno and he wants to become another news moghul in Malaysia. So he has to ‘bodek’ Najib to get what he craves for. The idea No. 2 is to ‘kill’ off Malaysian Insider and you all should know where that directive comes from. No prize for guessing it right.

    (A good example of ‘bodeking’ can be seen in Thursday’s Malay Mail front page praising Najib for his “COURAGE’ in big red letter in his choice of cabinet members.)

    MI has been seen as a neutral news portal in the eyes of Umno but it carries too many reports that put the Umno ‘bad hats’ in bad light. So MI has to be crippled. The fact that most of its journalists are willing to get their shares of carrots is that MI is not making good money and is obviously in debt.

    Since winning the GE by questionable means, this is one of the moves to consolidate its position. Some of the other news portals that started as a strong voice for the opposition are now singing a different tune which sounds sweeter to BN/Umno. No need to mention names but they are also suspiciously making an about turn and probably given some incentive to do so.

    One of the few left that’s still making noise about corruption, abuse of power and shenanigans practised by the Umno regime is Malaysian Chronicle.

    Most media watchers are coming to this conclusion. All will come to past, in the coming weeks or months when everything will pan out the way Najib wants it.

    These are signs of more chicanery coming your way.

  3. copperhead permalink
    Wed 2013-May-29 @ MYT 15:00:03 pm 15:00

    A little bird inside the endangered Malaysian Insider told me he’s one of those who are hopping over to the Malay Mail. According to him, almost the whole editorial team is jumping ship. They are all getting 10% to 20% salary increase. The senior executives in MI have formed a company which will service the Malay Mail website and probably will start a somewhat similar news portal for Redberry Group under Datuk Siew who is regarded as a pro-Najib man. Sometimes it seems money talks because it is understood all this while that most of the MI journalists are not ‘friendly’ towards Barisan Nasional and now they have been tempted to ‘switch camp’ and service by proxy a corrupted regime.

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