Mon, Jun 28, 2004 - Page 3 News List

New CTS manager fends off harsh attacks

NOT EASY Former actress Chiang Hsia faces the tough task of making Chinese Television System part of an independent group while her every move is scrutinized

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chiang Hsia, the newly appointed general manager of Chinese Television System.

FILE PHOTO, TAIPEI TIMES

Chiang Hsia (江霞) has been fending off harsh attacks from pan-blue supporters and the media since being appointed as the new general manager of the state-controlled Chinese Television System (CTS) on Thursday.

Two issues lie at the heart of the controversy over Chiang's appointment: some see it as a political reward for her involvement in President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) presidential election campaign earlier this year; others were shocked that Chiang had apparently blacklisted certain Taiwanese entertainers and initiated a boycott of Chinese-made television programs.

Chiang, whose official name is Liao Yin-yin (廖瑛瑛), was born in 1948 and became an actress in 1967. Since then, Chiang has acted in movies and television shows, as well as working behind the scenes as a producer. She was nominated once for best actress and once for best supporting actress in the Golden Horse Awards, Taiwan's equivalent of the Oscars. In 2000, she became a board member of Taiwan Television (台視, TTV).

A weighty responsibility awaits Chiang in her new job, as the Government Information Office has proposed making CTS part of a public television group which will be supervised by the public or an organization that is independent of any government or political influence. Nevertheless, Chiang and her supporters are optimistic about the future of CTS under her management.

"I believe in Chiang's professionalism as a media figure. Her credentials are self-evident: she has been in the television business for decades, and she has been an administrative board member at TTV, where she became familiar with the management of a television station," said Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), editor-in-chief of Contemporary Monthly.

Chin, who is currently a member of CTS' supervisory board, said that Chiang's job would not be easy, as the members of the social elite on the station's board would monitor her every move as general manager.

"One just has to take a look at the job titles and occupations of these new board members to realize that these individuals are experts in their respective fields; everything from technology to women's rights," Chin said.

According to Chin, several names illustrate the diverse voices from all realms of society repre-sented on the supervisory board: Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容), chief executive officer of the Garden of Hope Foundation, a social group specializing in the welfare of women; Huang An-chieh (黃安捷), chairman of the Accton Company (智邦科技), a technology firm; and John Chen (陳傳岳), a prominent attorney.

"The members of the CTS board have widely divergent areas of expertise, so they can be expected to hold different expectations of Chiang," Chin said.

Considering that CTS has been losing its edge in its drama programs over the years, Chiang's rich experience in the field might also help the station to regain its past glory, Chin said.

"The claim that Chiang's appointment is a political reward is meaningless as long as the person being appointed is actually professional in her job. Looking at the general managers appointed during [People First Party Chairman] James Soong's (宋楚瑜) term as governor of Taiwan province, no one was as capable as Chiang," Chin said.

In a telephone interview with a Chinese-language television news station on Thursday, Chiang spoke her mind about what she thought of certain local entertainers, including 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), who both claimed to be pan-blue supporters during the presidential election in March.

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