MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said he hopes to combine the writing forces of the media outlets under unit MediaQuest Holdings to improve analysis and content across his media platforms -- BusinessWorld, Philippine Star and TV5.
Speaking to reporters during Pangilinan's infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC) first quarter results briefing, Pangilinan said he was looking to raise the quality of content by pooling together the journalistic sources of his media platforms.
“I hope to pool together the repertorial pool of [broadsheets] BusinessWorld and Philippine Star, and should make further investments to cooperate with the reporter pool of TV5,” said Pangilinan.
“We do need to raise the level of analysis because it is still the prime business,” Pangilinan added.
MediaQuest Holdings is a wholly owned unit of PLDT's Beneficial Trust Fund. It is a corporate vehicle for the Pangilinan-led group's convergence strategy, which marries content and distribution. Under MediaQuest are 3 units: Hastings, television network TV5 and MediaScape Inc., which owns pay TV provider CignalTV. Hastings currently owns 30% of BusinessWorld, 10% of Philippine Star and 18% of the Inquirer.
On Thursday, May 2, Mediaquest Holdings Inc, PLDT said it may hike its stake in BusinessWorld. Mediaquest has been evaluating several funding options for BusinessWorld, confirmed Mediaquest director Ray C. Espinosa in a text message to reporters. One of these options include acquiring new shares in BusinessWorld in addition to MediaQuest's current 30% stake in the local broadsheet.
Pangilinan has also voiced his interest in hiking his 20% stake in the Philippine Star daily newspaper. In a previous interview, Pangilinan said talks of acquiring a majority stake from the Belmonte family, who controls the print media company, remains "under discussion."
"We'd be interested to increase our stake but we're not going to do it immediately. It will be in stages," he said, adding that it would also depend on the decision of the Star owners.
When asked at the same press briefing why PLDT is looking to invest in print media, Pangilinan said, "The Philippines is not quite there in terms of the US where the print industry and has been under pressure and some of them have gone extinct. Here, it will survive in some shape and form.” - Rappler.com