Thu, Oct 25, 2007 - Page 1 News List

BCC chairman Jaw announces resignation

TROUBLES Blaming politics, Jaw said his decision was effective immediately. He has appointed someone else to handle operations and will no longer host his radio show

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) said yesterday he would terminate his contract with Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co (華夏投資公司) over the purchase of BCC, over what he called "relentless persecution" from the government.

"I just want to run a media business, that's all. But apparently I can't beat politics," he said. "Given this, there is no need to remain entangled in this matter anymore."

Jaw said his resignation as BCC chairman and president was effective immediately. Starting tomorrow, he said he would no longer host BCC's morning show Time with Jaw Shaw-Kong.

Jaw said he had appointed a senior financial officer at BCC to temporarily take over the company's operations.

Meanwhile, his lawyer will meet Hua Hsia representatives to settle disputes resulting from the termination of his contract.

If the disputes cannot be resolved within two weeks, Jaw said he would request that a court appoint a temporary manager.

The announcement came after the National Communication Commission (NCC) in June approved the sale of BCC to four subsidiaries believed to be affiliated with Jaw. In July, however, the Executive Yuan suspended the NCC ruling.

During this time, Jaw laid off approximately 200 BCC employees and assigned some of these positions to staff he brought from former company UFO Radio.

Jaw said the Cabinet had launched a "comprehensive" investigation into the deal after suspending the NCC ruling. He said officials from the Investigation Bureau, the Financial Supervisory Committee and the National Security Bureau had looked into various accounts he and his colleagues held and used for unlawful transactions.

At the order of the Cabinet, the Ministry of Economic Affairs refused to allow BCC to change its ownership registration. The Fair Trade Commission claims that BCC holds a monopoly in the national radio industry.

Jaw said the NCC had issued official notices to these organizations while the case was being reviewed. None of these organizations had expressed doubts or objections over the legality of the deal, he said.

Jaw said the NCC had set really "stringent" conditions when it approved the sale, which he reluctantly accepted.

"Little did we know our troubles were just beginning," he said.

The NCC ruling said BCC shares had to be publicly traded.

Jaw's wife, Liang Lei (梁蕾), was also required to reduce her shareholding to less than 10 percent.

The NCC also asked BCC to give back two radio frequencies used to broadcast anti-communist propaganda.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) sold BCC to China Times Group (中時集團) subsidiary Jungli Investment Co (榮麗投資公司) in 2005 for NT$9.3 billion (US$281.6 million).

China Television Co (中視) and the Central Motion Picture Corp (中央電影公司) were also included in the package.

The transaction was facilitated by Hua Hsia, an investment firm owned by the KMT. The deal, however, was cancelled because the China Times Group was unable to pay the sum in full.

Last year, Hua Hsia decided to sell BCC to Jaw.

Jaw, however, never said how much he paid for the company.

In response, the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Commercial Department said that it could not approve the deal because BCC failed to provide the documents needed to register board member changes.

Meanwhile, the KMT-owned Central Investment Co (¤¤¥¡§ë¸ê¤½¥q) yesterday denied having any connection with the BCC deal, as it had sold its BCC shares to Jungli Investment in 2005.

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