“There must be another way.”
When asked about his life’s philosophy and how it influences his leadership of the PhilSTAR Media Group (PMG), Lucien C. Dy Tioco answered that he had always been an out-of-the-box thinker. There was always another way, a better way.
“I’ve developed a knack for seeing things that aren’t there. You can’t change things if you keep looking at the same thing,” he said in an interview.
The PMG is the leading print media organization in the Philippines, with six successful titles comprising broadsheets and tabloids circulated nationwide.
Given the extremely rapid changes that have disrupted—and are continuing to disrupt—the media landscape in the past ten years alone, one has to wonder about the immense amount of creativity and innovative thinking required to lead such a company to success.
And yet, adapting to the changing landscape and audience the company has. In recent years, even with the massive challenges of the pandemic, PMG has been able to cultivate digital properties to bolster its print offerings that align with the group’s foremost thrust of journalistic integrity and nation-building.
As executive vice president, Dy Tioco has been a large part of this success. Recognized for his outstanding leadership and dedication to his job, Dy Tioco was named Asia’s Top Outstanding Netizen Marketeer of the Year at the 2023 AMF Asia Youth, Women Netizen Marketing Excellence Awards.
“Every award validates everything that we have been doing as right. This award is really special because of its international recognition,” he said.
“More than the Filipino as a world-class marketer, I am proud of how the Asian community has recognized our efforts to make The STAR thrive amidst the challenges of the print industry and the pandemic.”
This was not the first time Dy Tioco’s work has been recognized. He had received numerous honors and acclaim from various agencies and award-giving bodies, including the 37th Agora Awards, where he was named the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Communications award.
I work in an institution where I have the chance to implement positive change, where I can utilize its platforms to do those things.
He was also honored by his alma institution, the University of Santo Tomas, with the Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) award for his work in the media industry and was listed as one of the recipients of the 2016 CEO Excel Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
In a way, Dy Tioco has only been following true to the core of PMG. With a commitment to serving Filipinos, PMG acknowledges the heavy responsibility that comes with being a news media platform.
This year, to focus on making its contribution to nation-building, PMG aims to push advocacy-based campaigns that go beyond the simple sharing of information, but inspire and ignite change.
Dy Tioco and his team have set on a vision of fostering positive impact across society, the environment, and the economy, uniting with partners and sponsors to “drive meaningful transformation and cultivate enlightened mindsets”.
Mr. Dy Tioco earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in 1985. He then worked as an artist and repertoire at OctoArts International, where he oversaw the local success of all international releases from major record labels like Virgin, Chrysalis, and RCA.
He worked for another newspaper for a while, and then in 1987 he became the branch coordinator for the classified advertisements area of The Philippine STAR.
He later transferred to the company’s marketing research unit. Then, he became an account manager handling advertising sales where he made his mark as one of the company’s top sales performers.
Dy Tioco worked his way up through the ranks and was eventually named advertising director (from his previous position as advertising manager) in 2000.
In 2012, he was elevated to the post of senior vice president for sales and marketing at The STAR, and in 2015, when the country’s leading business daily BusinessWorld joined the stable of publications distributed by PMG, he was given the same responsibility.
Dy Tioco joined both The STAR and BusinessWorld in 2016 as their executive vice president for sales and marketing.
Over the years, The STAR has maintained its prominence under Dy Tioco’s leadership, despite the industry’s dramatic transformation due to the advent of digital media. He had guided The STAR from its post-EDSA Revolution newspaper roots into a fully digital, mobile, television, and billboard-based multimedia enterprise.
Naturally, he did the same with BusinessWorld, Pilipino Star Ngayon, and The Freeman, and PMG’s various digital publications. In fact, there has been a united push towards the digital platform across all of the group’s companies in Dy Tioco’s effort to adapt to the rapidly changing times.
Digital initiatives such as BusinessWorld Insights and PhilSTAR L!fe have proven that this effort had been successful. In his words, Dy Tioco said that such ideas come from “the desire to find a solution to our problems that we encounter every day.”
“It’s a nagging thought that gives me pieces of idea until it becomes complete. But I’m thankful I have a very reliable team that enhances the entire concept. It’s important how you sell the idea to your team to come up with a really good concept,” he said.
But he pointed out that even in success, he does not take it for granted that PMG has become such an important company for the Philippines, as an organ for the public voice as well as an instigator for change among the country’s leaders and newsmakers.
“I work in an institution where I have the chance to implement positive change, where I can utilize its platforms to do those things,” he said.
“I have my sights set on how The STAR Group will be by 2030. I’ve been giving it so much thought since last year. With a new generation of tech coming in, all I can say there’s a whole lot of exciting possibilities and opportunities poised for The STAR.”