Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Pro-DPP actress takes CTS helm

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT The new general manager of the state-controlled TV station, known as a DPP supporter, has said that she will ban Chinese soap operas

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Television System president Chou Jung-sheng, left, shakes hands with CTS' new managing director, Chiang Hsia, yesterday.

PHOTO: LIN SHU-JUAN, TAIPEI TIMES

Actress Chiang Hsia (江霞), a longtime supporter of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), yesterday took over as general manager of state-controlled Chinese Television System (CTS) amid harsh attacks from opposition legislators on her professionalism and her political loyalties.

CTS held a board meeting yesterday afternoon to approve Chiang's nomination. Chiang used to serve on the board of Taiwan Television (TTV).

Also elected to CTS' board were pro-DPP figures Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), editor in chief of Contemporary Monthly; cartoonist Lin Kuei-you (林奎佑), widely known as Yu-fu (魚夫); and writer Lin Chien-lung (林建隆).

In a TV interview broadcast last night, the outspoken Chiang told the show's host that she had been informed by the the Presidential Office on June 11 that she would be given the position at CTS.

"My new position is indeed a reward and it makes perfect sense because I support President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁)," she told the host.

Atop her priorities for her new job will be banning soap operas produced in China.

"If we continue to broadcast Chinese-produced soap operas, our local entertainers will have fewer job opportunities," she said.

Chiang also said that pro-unification entertainers such as Sun Tsui-feng (孫翠鳳), star performer of the Ming Hwa Yuan Taiwanese Opera Company (明華園), and pop singer Luo Da-you (羅大佑), will not be shown on the station.

Chiang characterized Sun's performances as "stunts" rather than traditional Taiwanese operas and derided Luo's abilities as a vocal artist.

Chiang also said that she would like to see news programs on CTS take a more neutral stance.

"It wouldn't be a bad idea for anchorman Li Siduan (李四端) to consider stepping down and use his experience to train younger talent," she said.

When asked by the media about her controversial remarks, Chiang reacted indignantly.

"Don't demonize me," she said.

"The media shouldn't have interpreted what I said out of context," she said.

Chiang said that she had never said that she would bar all entertainers with a pro-unification background.

"Although I don't have an impressive educational background, I'm not stupid enough to say something like that," she said.

Chiang said that she would like to continue to work with Lee because he is a veteran journalist with high social status.

Unimpressed with her rebuttal, six Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday requested a meeting with Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), secretary-general of the Government Information Office (GIO), to voice their grievances over the matter as well as over the license renewals of China Television (CTV) and the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC), in which the KMT owns a majority of shares.

"While the government has pledged to free the media from political influence, it is in fact meddling in the personnel arrangements of CTS," said KMT Legislator Liao Feng-te (廖風德).

"It only proves that the DPP administration doesn't mean what it says about nationalizing media outlets," Liao said.

KMT Legislators Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) and Lin Yi-shih (林益世) questioned Chiang's credentials.

"Could you tell me what she has done to deserve the position? Is it her educational background or experience?" Huang said.

Praising Chiang's 30 years of experience in show business, Lin said that everybody has political beliefs and that Chiang just happened to be someone who was explicit about hers.

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