The advertising industry used to be a simple one. Want an advertisement? Want some attention? Take out an ad in the Straits Times or relevant language-related paper and you could virtually guarantee some amounts of interest. I even remember scanning the classifieds section as a secondary school kid looking to earn some money during the holidays.

Fast forward two decades — the rise of Google, Facebook, and a declining local interest in state affairs beyond headline centrepieces, and you have the current situation: Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) print media business is in terminal decline and not headed anywhere but down.

Indeed, even Chairman Lee Boon Yang remarked multiple times during the extraordinary general meeting: ‘Investing more resources into SPH’s print media business is akin to changing pounds for pennies.’

Having said all that, here are the top five takeaways I had from the 2021 SPH EGM.

1. The newspaper business is an albatross around the neck