THE backers of the Deum Ampil Media Centre, which closed its doors last week reportedly because of financial constraints, have announced the creation of a new company, the Nokor Wat Media Centre.
Dim Sopheavy, the former deputy director general of Deum Ampil, said yesterday that the official launch of Nokor Wat would take place during a ceremony on Friday to be presided over by Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith and Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema.
“Our new media centre will consist of a newspaper, magazine, radio station, website and, in due course, a television station,” she said.
On July 1, Soy Sopheap, Deum Ampil’s former director general, said operations would cease because of a lack of funds.
He said the move was necessary after the company’s financial backer, the Heng Development Company, demanded that he cut operating costs by firing many of the media centre’s 110 employees, an allegation the company has denied.
Dim Sopheavy – the daughter of Heng Development’s owner, Sieng Chanheng, who will also serve as director general of the new media centre – said yesterday that Nokor Wat did not have enough staff members following the rift with Soy Sopheap.
“Some former employees from Deum Ampil have agreed to join us, and those who are still unsure of their next move should also feel free to apply at our media centre,” she said, though she noted that Soy Sopheap would not be welcome.
Soy Sopheap said yesterday that he was focused on his search for new financial backers that would enable him to reopen Deum Ampil.
Oum Chandara, president of the Khmer Journalist Friendship Association, said the new media centre is named after Nagaravatta (Angkor Wat), the earliest known Khmer-language newspaper, first published in 1936.
He added that the newspaper is set to publish its first issue on Saturday, as Heng Development is in a rush to honour previous advertising commitments.