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Deum Ampil divided by financial spat

THE chief financial backer of the Deum Ampil News Media Centre, which announced last week that it would be halting operations due to a funding shortage, said yesterday that she may launch a new newspaper with a different name as soon as this week.

Sieng Chanheng, who also owns the Heng Development Company, said the newspaper would need to begin publishing soon so that her staff could remain employed.

“Just wait and see tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. The new newspaper will come out,” she said.

Her daughter, Dim Sopheavy, the deputy director general of the media centre, also said the newspaper would launch soon. She declined to disclose its name.

“I will run a newspaper soon with the new name, and it will run as a daily, but I cannot tell you the specific name,” she said.

“You will see when the newspaper prints and we are on sale at the market.”

Soy Sopheap, the director general of the media centre, said last week that he had been forced to shut down its popular newspaper, magazine and radio programming after Sieng Chanheng demanded that he cut operating costs in half by firing many of its 110 employees, an allegation Sieng Chanheng has denied.

He said yesterday that he, too, planned to launch a new newspaper soon, though he added that he would need financial backing.

“I have no money to relaunch the newspaper on my own, so I am looking for a financial supporter to help publish it,” he said.

He added that he believed most of the centre’s employees would choose to work for him, though several said yesterday on the condition of anonymity that they were concerned he would not be able to finance a new project.

Yem Noy, director of the Information Ministry’s Media Department, said he had received no recent requests for newspaper licences, and referred additional questions to Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, who could not be reached yesterday.

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