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17 Out of 19 Local MBC Branches Will Have New Heads

Posted March. 06, 2005 22:33,   


After Choi Moon-soon took office as CEO of the Munhwa Broadcasting Corp. (MBC), the company appointed a number of employees in their 40s as division chiefs. Now, the media outlet appears to be hiding another shock in the nomination of presidents of local MBC stations.

After internal procedures for the nomination, on March 5, MBC reported its potential presidential nominees to the Foundation for Broadcast Culture, its big shareholder. Except for two, 17 local station heads are to be replaced, after which the average age of the presidents will come down from 55 to 51. The personnel reshuffle is unprecedented in comparison with the past ones in which only top-level officials or higher-ranking division chiefs in their mid or late 50s had been chosen to head local stations.

Each local branch is expected to select its leader in a general meeting of shareholders scheduled between March 7 and 10. But those shareholders will likely follow the headquarters’ decisions because the head office is the big stakeholder in every MBC local station.

One noticeable thing about the personnel shift is that the company tried to “cater to” the administration by raising general managers such as reporters and labor union officials to local station heads. Nine potential nominees out of all 19 are from the news reporting division, just as the newly appointed president is. Daegu MBC will have Park Noh-heung (50 years old), the deputy chief of the public relations division, as its president. Gwangju MBC will see Kim Sang-gyun (55 years old), the current president of Masan station, appointed to its leading position. Bae Gui-seop (53 years old), a commentator, was informally nominated to head the Daejeon branch. Hahn Byeong-woo (51 years old), former reporter and current head of the Internet news center, and Kim Jae-cheol (51 years old), chief of the reporting and production division, are supposed to become the presidents of Chuncheon and Ulsan MBC, respectively. Kim Sang-gi (52 years old), a commentator, will go to Yeosu MBC, and Goo Yeong-hoi (51 years old), former chief director of management, has been unofficially chosen to supervise Samcheok MBC.

Other personnel exceptions include Gang Joong-muk (48 years old), a former union official and the incumbent general manager of the production division at Busan MBC, and Park Jin-hae (51 years old), the genral manager of the radio news production division at the Masan branch. Gang and Park were chosen as the presidents of the Busan and Masan stations, respectively. Gang was vice chair of the MBC union’s Seoul office when president Choi was in charge of the National Union of Media Workers. Park was the head of the Masan MBC labor union when Choi Moon-soon was leading the MBC labor union.

Sun-Woo Kim sublime@donga.com