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Analyse Asia

Jun 29, 2019

In Episode 307, Gary Liu, the chief executive officer of South China Morning Post (SCMP), joined us to discuss the vision and mission of the media outlet and offer his perspectives on media across Asia Pacific. We started with Gary sharing his career story and how he came to lead SCMP. He discuss the core audience of the media outlet and the new content and innovations that is driving the transformation of SCMP. Last but not least, Gary offered his perspectives on the current trends driving media in the digital age.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Gary Liu, CEO of South China Morning Post [0:17]
    • How did you start your career? [0:38]
    • Can you talk about the backstory in how you come to join SCMP as the CEO? [1:06]
    • In your career journey, what has been the most interesting lessons you can share with my audience? [2:16]
  • South China Morning Post [4:01]
    • The South China Morning Post aka SCMP is a Hong Kong English language newspaper founded in 1903 and is now owned by the Alibaba Group. In preparing for this interview, I did not realize that both Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp and a well-known Singaporean real estate tycoon, Robert Kuok were past owners of the SCMP as well. 
    • Starting with an introduction, can you summarize what the South China Morning Post (SCMP) do and talk about its current mission and vision? [4:36]
    • Who are the core audience of SCMP? [7:10]
    • Since Alibaba’s acquisition and your hiring, what are the changes that you have brought to the post? [8:10]
    • What are the interesting innovations and products that are now pioneered from SCMP that will be interesting to take the paper forward into the digital age? [9:34]
    • What is your thinking process in making a decision if business and editorial groups are at loggerheads and could not come to an agreement? [13:56]
    • How do you define if SCMP is successful in a few years time? [15:34]
  • Perspectives in Media [17:33]
    • As digital disruption has entered into traditional newspaper and media outlets, what are the challenges and where are the opportunities do you see that a traditional outlet can move forward? [17:42]
    • Media outlets, for example, the Guardian & New York Times have shifted their audience from a local or regional to a global one. Do you see regional media outlets such as Nikkei and SCMP going in the same way in thinking about your audience and putting your knowledge about the region as a competitive advantage? [20:38]
    • In your view, what are the most interesting business models and innovation in media that keeps you excited about the space? [21:59]
    • Given that traditional news outlets can be viewed as institutions of trust, are there opportunities in the curation of media rather than discovery of media? [24:32]
    • Where do you think that Asia journalism and news will go towards with the rise of China? [25:50]
  • Closing [27:42]
    • Can you recommend a book or movie or podcast or anything which recently made an impact to your work and personal life? [27:50]
    • How do my audience find you? [29:11]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) until 30 June 2019 and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack and this episode is edited by Carol Yin, and co-produced by Carol Yin and Bernard Leong. This episode is recorded and produced in June 2019.