FRIDAY, April 19, 2024

Nation Group makes big showbiz plans with mixed management, massive archives

Nation Group makes big showbiz plans with mixed management, massive archives

Nation Group CEO Shine Bunnag has unveiled plans to expand the group’s offerings to cover show business and filmmaking, in a bid to solidify its position as Thailand’s top content provider.

As part of this new venture, Nation Group will also collaborate with a global festival organiser to host an annual Songkran music festival from next year, with ambitions to attract up to 100,000 concertgoers.

Shine, who also serves as chairman of Nation Group’s executive committee, said this expansion initiative will be steered by executives spanning multiple generations.

This diversification, Shine said, will strengthen Nation Group’s stature as a top media organisation that has been a key part of Thai society for 54 years.

“Nation Group has been a cornerstone of the media landscape, coexisting with society for over five decades,” Shine remarked. “We will keep producing innovative content and provide information to society through a diverse portfolio of media brands, including television and newspapers, as well as new media platforms like online and social media.

“We have also been holding activities like seminars, dinner talks, expos, awards and CSR events. Essentially, we hold more than 70 events yearly to meet the demands of all target groups in society.”

Nation Group makes big showbiz plans with mixed management, massive archives

Acknowledging the transformative impact of digital disruption on consumer behaviour and media operations, Shine said that Nation Group has had to adapt its operations and strategies accordingly.

“Our expansion model aims to cater to the diverse tastes and demands of all segments of society,” Shine explained. “We will leverage generative AI to enhance editorial capacities across our media outlets. We have more than 10 brands catering to various demographics and interests, including Nation TV, Krungthep Thurakij, Thansettakit, Post Today, The Nation, Spring News, Nation Story, Kom Chad Luek, Thai News, The People and Kob Sanam.”

Cashing in on showbiz

In line with this expansion strategy, Nation Group intends to venture into film production, showbiz and online archiving to enrich its content offerings and stimulate business growth. Shine highlighted the Thai film industry’s potential to attain global prominence and serve as a vehicle for promoting “Thainess” on the international stage.

“We are now collaborating with seasoned filmmakers and production companies like Julian Jung’s Black Dragon Entertainment, which produced ‘Parasite’ and the ‘Crash Landing on You’ series. We are also joining hands with Thailand’s leading filmmaker, Transformation Film,” the CEO said.

Nation Group makes big showbiz plans with mixed management, massive archives

He added that the Nation Group has also joined two partners to invest in two big-screen creations, namely “Monk Konnichiwa” and “Nak Rak Phi Mak Mak Mak”.

“Monk Konnichiwa”, set to be released mid-year, stars Arak Amornsupasiri and Patara Eksankul, while the second film starring Thailand’s top comedians Mum, Theng and Nong is set to be released in December.

Shine added that these investments underscore Nation Group’s aim to foster creativity and excellence in Thai cinema, while also tapping emerging opportunities in online streaming and merchandise sales.

Old is gold

Nation Group makes big showbiz plans with mixed management, massive archives

Another business the group is poised to capitalise on is its extensive archives. Shine noted that over the past five decades, Nation Group has accumulated more than 5 million items of photos, film footage, executive content and news information.

He said these assets will be digitised and can in the future be used to produce documentary films and series.

Shine said Nation Group had joined the Hong Kong International Film Festival from March 11-14 and several foreign documentary filmmakers had shown interest in Nation Group’s massive archives.

He added that Nation Group is set to sign a deal this year with Singapore’s Beach House Pictures, which aims to use the archives to produce a documentary series. Beach House Pictures has several films being shown on Netflix, including the true crime documentary “Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee and Jessica Wongso”.

Songkran musical extravaganzas

Additionally, Nation Group aims to elevate the Songkran festival into an international event by partnering with a top global festival organiser to host annual concerts attracting more than 100,000 visitors. It is aiming to hold its first Songkran festival in April next year. The CEO said the Nation Group is in the process of preparing more details, and they will be announced later.

Including all generations

Recognising the pivotal role of human resources in driving organisational success, Shine underscored Nation Group’s commitment to fostering talent across all generations.

“Our organisation has more than 1,000 staff members, ranging from Gen Z to baby boomers. The average age is 41. We attach importance to empowering employees to embrace technology, while also upholding media ethical standards,” Shine said.

“The management team comprises executives from diverse age groups and areas of expertise, reflecting Nation Group’s resolve to remain competitive in the digital era and deliver impactful, forward-thinking content that meets the changing needs of society. An effort that is driven by the three editors – Somchai Meesen, Bakbun Boonlert and Virsak Pongsakorn.”

Nation Group makes big showbiz plans with mixed management, massive archives

The other key executives of Nation Group Shine mentioned were The Nation’s managing director Oraorn Akkaraseranee, executive VP in charge of creative, events, film and showbiz Nitchapon Thuwapradit, managing director of Nation TV Apirawee Pichayadecha, Krungthep Thurakij MD Wirayut Saengkrachang, Kob Sanam MD Surachai Banlue, Nation Story managing editor Pongpitak Banchanon, MD of Kom Chad Luek and Thai News Piyawit Damrongsat and Spring News MD Orawan Pipat.

Shine wrapped up by saying that the Nation Group has also redesigned its logo to symbolise its renewed identity and commitment to producing innovative, socially relevant content that resonates with audiences across all segments of society.