Wed, Jan 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Broadcasting body rejects Want Want stations merger idea

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday that China Television (CTV, 中視) and CtiTV (中天電視) cannot merge operations, as they hold different operating licenses and that the commission could ask the stations’ management to answer questions after the Lunar New Year holiday about their resources sharing plans.

The stations belong to Want Want China Times Group. A story published by the Chinese-language Merit Times indicated that the CTV news department was asked to supply Cti News with stories. Cti News is in charge of planning and broadcasting news programs.

Andy Hsieh (謝煥乾), director of the commission’s communication management department, confirmed yesterday that the commission received a complaint from a CTV worker, who said that the two stations are planning to merge their news departments.

“We requested in writing that they respond to questions we have concerning a merger of operations and what they meant by two stations sharing resources. However, there are some issues that are yet to be clarified. We may ask the stations to answer more questions after the Lunar Year holiday,” Hsieh said.

Hsieh said that the two stations cannot merge because CTV holds a terrestrial broadcasting license and CtiTV has a satellite broadcasting license.

While the commission understands that resources sharing may be necessary for two television stations within the same media group, the commission must determine whether the sharing is permissible, Hsieh said.

The commission conditionally approved a management change at CTV and CtiTV in 2008 after the Want Want Group acquired the China Times Group. It specifically required that the two stations must not share board directors. The two stations were also barred from sharing management, advertising and programming departments and studios. Editors in each of the programming departments were also required to operate independently.

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