The Heat to cool it on the street
The Heat, a weekly newsmagazine from the HCK Media stable, is pulling out off the streets and will remain only as a digital and online publication; its stablemate, the fornightly Big Issue digital magazine will be closed, journalists say.
The changes are expected to take place in a couple of months’ time.
HCK Media is to concentrate its efforts on its flagship business weekly Focus Malaysia, with the Heat possibly re-emerging within a separate pullout section of Focus, while maintaining its digital edition.
As a business weekly Focus Malaysia is an obvious rival to the Edge, owned by businessman Tong Kooi Ong; The Edge group recently took over the Malaysian Insider, and closed its FZ.com feature-lifestyle online daily.
The Edge is Tong’s flagship, the hugely successful as the first business weekly in Malaysia and Singapore. Although its Malaysia circulation is only in the 20-30,000 range, the weekly draws lucrative advertising revenue with its range of specialist sections aimed at the high-income property and lifestyle markets. Edge group also publishes the Edge Financial Daily and Personal Money magazine.
The Heat, Big Issue, Focus Malaysia and The Ant Daily were the iniatives of HCK Media owner Clement Hii after he left The Star.
They have been clearly set on a similar path as the Edge group, by offering a range to cover all markets: a business weekly, news weekly, fortnightly digital magazine, and an online daily.
However, the group may have spread itself too thinly across too broad a range of publications.
Having two weeklies jostling for space on the newsagents’ racks, and for mind-share in the relatively small Malaysian English-language market, would have required much more time than most entrepreneurs are willing to endure to see any viable returns.
Going head-to-head with the Edge and Malaysian Insider combined would place more strain on resources, both financial and human.
The changes are to take place within the next few months. Journalists of the Heat and Big Issue will be redeployed within the main pool. By the end of the year HCK Media will have Focus Malaysia as a business weekly in print and digital, containing a newsmagazine section; The Heat as a digital-only publication; and The Ant Daily as an online newsmagazine with its offering of commentary and opinion.
HCK Media is the publishing unit of Clement Hii, former chief executive of the Star, who has interests in property, education, manufacturing and food. An Internet-savvy entrepreneur, he maintains an active Facebook page and a blog.
He recently announced the purchase of an office block Empire City in Damansara Perdana for his corporate headquarters.