Society of Publishers in Asia elects David E. Smith, The Economist Group, as Chairman

Christina Lee from Bloomberg BusinessWeek named Deputy Chairman

Hong Kong, 31 December 2010 – The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), an organisation dedicated to best practices in professional publishing, has elected Mr. David E. Smith as its Chairman, Ms. Christina Lee as Deputy Chairman, Ms. Helena Phua as Honourary Treasurer and Ms. Do Do Yeung, Honourary Secretary.

A member of SOPA Board since 2009, Mr. Smith is Regional Director – Advertising and Sponsorship, The Economist Group (A/P) Ltd. and also heads up the SOPA Publisher’s Ball Subcommittee.

SOPA’s Deputy Chairman Ms. Christina Lee is the Asia Managing Director of Bloomberg BusinessWeek and a long-standing member and supporter of SOPA. Ms. Lee also heads up the China Projects Group Subcommittee.

The Society of Publishers in Asia is dedicated to best practices in professional publishing and represents the interests of both local and international media brands in Asia. SOPA provides the platform for Asian and international publishers to network and collaborate on areas of common industry concern.

“I am honoured to be elected SOPA’s Chairman and thank all members for their support. I relish the chance to lead the organisation into a brand new year and the start of a new decade,” said Mr. Smith. “As the publishing industry continues to evolve and embrace new technologies, such as the iPad, 2011 looks set to be a year when newspaper, magazine and online publishers look to consolidate their standing in the marketplace.”

“While 2010 was a year where some publishers still struggled, the second half saw an improvement in the industry as a whole with more pages added, an industry-wide embracement of new enabling technologies and an increase in ad rates that all reflected an improving operational environment.”

Mr. Smith welcomed the appointment of new Board representatives including Mr. Terry Chan, Chief Operating Officer, One Media Group, Ms. Helena Phua, Deputy Managing Director, International Herald Tribune and Ms. Azmar Sukandar, Head of Communications, Asia Pacific, Financial Times.

SOPA Executive Board members also include Mr. Jeremy Ford (General Manager, Pacific Edition – Newsweek, Inc.), Ms. Jessica Ng, (Chief Executive Officer, South China Media), Raymond Warhola (Executive Director, Forbes Asia), Ms. Kuok Hui Kwong, (Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, South China Morning Post Group Ltd.), Ms. Alice Chai (Research Director for The Wall Street Journal Asia), Andrew Butcher, (Publishing Director, Time and Fortune, Asia Pacific), Barrie Goodridge, (CEO Asia – Edipresse Asia Ltd.).

For subcommittees, Ms. Alice Chai is Chairman of the Research Subcommittee, Mr. Peter Stein (Hong Kong Bureau Chief, WSJ and Associate Editor, WSJA), Chairman of SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence, Professional Training & Events is Chaired by Anil Kumar (Sales & Marketing Director, Asia Literary Review (Creative Work Ltd)), and the Digital Subcommittee Chairman is Mr. Andy Ann (CEO at Darizi Limited).

Separately, the annual SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence saw a record number of entries in 2010 with 109 judges presiding over 564 entries from 100 publications with submissions from China and Taiwan increasing by 30 percent. This year, the SOPA 2011 Awards for Editorial Excellence will be administered by Hong Kong University’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre and the closing date for submissions is 15 February 2011.