China Replacing CCTV’s Chief After Fallout From Fire

Three months after a fire at CCTV’s new headquarters, the head of the broadcaster is being replaced, the Wall Street Journal reports:

In a brief report, state-run Xinhua news agency said 61-year-old Zhao Huayong is being replaced because he had reached retirement age.

The report didn’t mention the February fire. It said Mr. Zhao is being replaced by top propaganda official Jiao Li, vice minister of the publicity department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.

Mr. Jiao was previously propaganda director for the northeastern province of Liaoning, which borders North Korea. He is one of the principles involved in helping launch China’s first listed publishing group, the Shanghai-listed Liaoning Publishing Group, in 2007.

He will take the helm at a difficult time for the state broadcaster. The CCTV fire on February 9th ignited a storm of public questioning over the extent of the institution’s mismanagement. It was sparked by a display of illegal, industry grade fireworks near the nearly-completed headquarters, which didn’t yet have fire prevention systems installed.

May 17, 2009 1:23 PM
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