2017-12-07 19:59
Dismissed producer to head MBC
By Kim Bo-eun

MBC CEO Choi Seung-ho
Choi Seung-ho, a dismissed former MBC producer, was elected the new CEO of the local broadcaster, Thursday.

The Foundation for Broadcast Culture _ the largest shareholder of MBC _ elected Choi, 56, after a final interview of three candidates and a shareholders’ meeting in Yeouido, Seoul.

The election was held 24 days after the foundation dismissed former CEO Kim Jang-gyeom last month. The dismissal brought an end to a 72-day strike by MBC workers, who had been calling for his resignation, to take responsibility over management blocking content critical of the previous government and “unfairly” transferring the employees who produced such content.

Choi entered MBC as a producer in 1986. He served as the National Union of Media Workers’ vice chairman and headed the union of the MBC branch.

He received multiple awards for producing various investigative journalism programs, but was dismissed after taking part in a 170-day strike held in 2012 to protest the government’s regulation of broadcasting content.

He continued investigative journalism as a producer at the progressive media outlet News Tapa.

Choi made the film “Criminal Conspiracy,” released in August, which depicted the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations’ alleged control of the media.

As MBC’s new CEO, Choi pledged to bring back dismissed workers, reinstate those who were transferred to their original posts, and withdraw punitive measures taken against staff involved in the strike. Choi also said he will investigate allegations that the previous government ordered the broadcaster to draw up a list of news producers who were critical of it.

The other candidates for the post were Lee Woo-ho, a former MBC editorial director, and former MBC editorial writer Lim Heung-sik.

The interviews were broadcast live on MBC’s Facebook page and viewers were invited to offer their input. Some of the board members’ questions came from the public.

Earlier on Sunday, the board also provided a live broadcast of the candidates’ statements on reforming the embattled public broadcaster.

The broadcasts were aired to show the transparency of the CEO election process and as a means to regain public trust.

In the past, the incumbent administration often appointed pro-government figures as CEOs of MBC.

Following the election of the new CEO, eight reporters who were dismissed in 2012 for taking part in the strike calling for former CEO Kim to resign, are set to return.

The new CEO will serve through 2020.