Tue, Jul 15, 2003 - Page 3 News List

CBS board picks new chairman

TOUGH AT THE TOP Lin Fung-cheng beat out incumbent Chou Tian-rey, whose term finished last month following a stormy three years in the radio station's hot seat

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawyer Lin Fung-cheng (林峰正), former chairman of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, yesterday was chosen by the Central Broadcasting System's (CBS) board as the radio station's new chairman, following the departure of Chou Tian-rey (周天瑞) from the post last Saturday.

Of the 15-member board, Lin was supported by 10 members, while Chou, who was attempting to win back his post, gained only three votes. One board member was absent and another voted for a third candidate.

Chou's three-year tenure finished last month and he had been serving as acting chairman.

Former director-general of the Government Information Office Arthur Iap (葉國興) was believed to have been dissatisfied with Chou's performance over the past three years and wanted to replace him.

Chou, however, managed to appeal to Premier Yu Shyi-kun directly, and obtained Yu's promise in late June for his second term.

Sources from the CBS board revealed that Chou had angered the board members by announcing his second term to the media before the board convened to confirm it.

"When the board failed to reach an agreement on the renewal of his post during their previous meetings in the past weeks, Chou started to think perhaps it was time to go," said Lu Po-hua (盧伯華), CBS news department manager.

"He figured that his ideals conflicted with that of the board and that may negatively impacted CBS's operation. He thinks perhaps his leaving would help CBS run more smoothly," Lu added.

A board member, who asked not to be named, pointed out that there had been conflicts between the board members and Chou.

"He did work hard, but in the wrong direction. He thought we should reconcile with China and avoid provoking them, so he banned people like [exiled Chinese dissident] Wang Dan (王丹) and [former president] Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) from appearing on CBS programs. The CBS under his reign did not exercise its function as the voice of Taiwan," the board member said.

"Moreover, he exploited his position by overdoing his political maneuvering, and he liked to speak through the media instead of communicating with the board. The board members feel that there was a lack of respect," the board member said.

The state-run CBS is completely funded by the government, but Taiwanese audiences can get it only on short-wave radio. It broadcasts worldwide, especially focusing on China, and offers programs in Mandarin Chinese, five Chinese dialects and 12 other languages.

It mainly serves to introduce Taiwan to the world.

The CBS chairman is usually chosen from among the 15 board members.

Of the 15, five are representatives from the government who usually vote unanimously, and 10 are representatives from media-related fields.

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