Tue, Apr 03, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Lee Tao resigns as TVBS chief, slams media critics

ONE MORE CHANCE The embattled station manager asked the public to give the TVBS news team a chance to make up for their mistake and pursue quality news

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Talk show host Lee Tao (李濤) yesterday announced that he was stepping down as general manager of TVBS News.

"I am sorry for the mistake made by [TVBS] reporters and believe I should take full responsibility for it," Lee said in a statement.

"Please give the TVBS news team one more chance to correct the mistake ... Let them prove to you their determination to pursue quality news," Lee said.

"I hope that my resignation will stop some politicians and the media from raging and seeking revenge against TVBS," he added.

TVBS' board of directors also issued an official statement yesterday that it had grudgingly approved Lee's resignation.

"The National Communications Commission's [NCC] resolution asking us to replace the station's general manager may involve some legal issues, and we reserve the right to file a lawsuit against this injustice," the statement said.

Lee's position will temporarily be filled by Lin Chia-hsin (林嘉欣), the assistant manager of the station's finance department.

Li Siduan (李四端) will carry on as the station's deputy general manager, but he will no longer host or anchor any of the station's programs.

Stations fined

The announcement came after the commission issued a ruling last week that TVBS and TVBS-N would each be penalized NT$1 million (NT$30,200) for mishandling the gangster footage broadcast last week.

The commission also asked the stations to replace the company's general manager and deputy general manager for failing to control news quality and to act in a responsible manner.

Controversies surrounding the NCCs ruling were also the focus of a question-and-answer session at the legislature's Sci-tech and Information Committee yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuo Chun-ming (郭俊銘) said the ruling had upset the Executive Yuan and failed to appease public anger as well as protests from other channel operators.

Kuo also asked NCC chairman Su Yeong-chin (蘇永欽) to step down to settle the dispute.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lwo Shih-hsiung (羅世雄), on the other hand, questioned the legitimacy of an independent government organization interfering in the appointment of officials in a media outlet.

"The commission has apparently overextended its authority in this regard," Lwo said.

In response, Su said he had no plan to resign any time soon, adding that the NCC had no intention of making any changes to its ruling.

He added that the commission would offer a more detailed and thorough explanation of the ruling to the public today.

Su reiterated that the resolution does not target any specific person, including Lee Tao.

He said the commission has the authority to ask TVBS to replace its managers, but it would not ask who they must choose to fill these positions.

"The TVBS incident is a very special case in the history of Taiwan's journalism," Su said.

"It is more appropriate to handle it as an isolated case rather than some precedent-setting principle," he added.

Infractions

When asked about the Cabinet's planned release of a report on the NCC's 10 major infractions, Su said he only knew of 10 questions that the Cabinet had asked in regard to the commission's operations and its members' conduct.

The questions include whether commissioners Wu Chung-chi (吳忠吉), Jimmy Hsieh (謝進男) and Liu Zong-de (劉宗德) have held other government positions, or whether commissioners Lee Tsu-yuan (李祖源) and Liu Yu-li (劉幼琍) may have a conflict of interest in reviewing the cases of China Television Co and Broadcasting Corporation of China.

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