Former publisher of sports weekly jailed for corruption

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2011, 12:00am


The former publisher of Titan Sports Weekly, one of the mainland's most lucrative sports publications, has been jailed for 11? years for bribe-taking and misappropriation of public funds, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday.

Qu Youyuan was taken into custody in April 2009 and charged at the Kaifu District People's Court in Changsha five months later. He was sentenced by the Changsha Intermediate People's Court late last month after being found guilty of taking 3.5 million yuan (HK$4.3 billion) in bribes between September 2000 and February 2009 and misappropriating 26.6 million yuan.

The protracted trial offered a rare insight into the murky world of state-controlled newspaper publishing, where editors are often torn between their roles as guardians of state-owned assets and business executives.

Qu, 46, was a deputy section head when Titan Sports Weekly was launched in 1988 by Hunan's provincial sports authorities, and he rose through the ranks to become its editor-in-chief and publisher in the early 1990s.

He shot to national fame for his role in helping the brand become a sports media empire, with Titan Sports Weekly once recording national circulation of 2.62 million.

Irregularities at Titan Sports Weekly came to light when auditors began to probe some deals that Qu was involved in after the newspaper transformed into a limited company in 2002.