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Audit results on KBS

Posted November. 03, 2017 07:27,   

Updated November. 03, 2017 09:01


This is the words from a reporter working at Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), who goes to the same newsbeat with this writer. “The senior reporters or producers suddenly disappear, and they are not seen until they return around the time for their retirements.” I felt envious, but also let out a bitter laugh, thinking, “Is that how they manage their personnel? That does not sound like a normal organization.”

According to the audit results on KBS’s organization management by the Board of Audit and Inspection released on Wednesday, KBS had 2,765 high-rank officials up to Rank 2 (A, B) who can take the executive position higher than head of the department or head of the team, which makes 60.1 percent of the total number of personnel (4,602). The average employees of KBS start from the highest administrative position, and their ranks are divided from Rank 1 to Rank 7. It is an organization with “a big body and thin legs,” which has more executives than average employees. The lowest rank of the high ranks, “Rank 2 B,” was paid with an annual average wage of 107 million won. Seven out of 10 high rank personnel have no positions to be assigned—instead, they run errands with tasks such as gym management and employee welfare and services counseling. Since the executives excluded from the productions have their desks placed near the windows, they are called “The Window People.”

How many companies in Korea pay their employers 100 million won by doing simple tasks, even too easy for a new average employee? Luckily, the truth about their careless management was revealed through an inspection by the Board of Audit and Inspection, but without the audit, the viewers might have never known about it. It was also revealed that 43 news anchors of KBS were paid with about 869 million won by participating in outside events for 384 times from 2014 to 2016, without the approval from the company. The inside guideline that only allows them to participate in outside events for the purpose of public interests was completely worthless. The moral hazard has gone way too beyond the boundaries.


Back in 2008 and 2014 as well, KBS was warned by the Board of Audit and Inspection and told to reduce the number of high ranks. Like they laughed off the warning, the Ranks 2 and higher grew in numbers in 2017. The reason is because they promoted personnel every year. The board of directors blames the resistance of the labor union for the actions they take. This is why the rate of labor costs for KBS (35.8 percent) is higher than those of SBS (16.1 percent) and MBC (22.5 percent). But they demand for the raise of TV license fee for being a public television—their shamelessness is ridiculous. One of its former board directors once told me something that I can feel to the bones, “KBS won’t learn the lessons until it suffocates itself to death.”