Deputy chief of CCTV's popular drama station placed under investigation

Investigators take Channel 8 deputy director Huang Haitao away for questioning in case thought linked to purchasing of TV programmes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 August, 2014, 2:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2014, 6:57pm

A leading director at China Central Television (CCTV) was taken away for investigation on Thursday, becoming the latest figure to be caught up in an anti-corruption drive that has claimed several high-profile employees at the state broadcaster in the last few months.

Huang Haitao, the deputy director of the network's popular TV drama station, Channel 8, was taken away by prosecutors, news website Caixin Online reported yesterday.

One of Huang's relatives also confirmed to the South China Morning Post last night that the deputy director was helping investigators.

The investigation is believed to be linked to the purchase of television programmes, Caixin reported, citing unnamed sources at the broadcaster.

The circumstances surrounding Huang's case were not clear and CCTV could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Huang is a veteran director at CCTV, joining the broadcaster in 1985 after graduating in the capital with a major in TV series direction from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, now known as the Communication University of China.

He worked for decades in CCTV's cultural and art centre, becoming a deputy director at the centre's television and film department.

The department was responsible for buying TV drama series for the whole network before the organisation was restructured, Caixin reported.

In 2010, after a network overhaul, CCTV set up a programme purchasing unit, appointing Huang as its deputy director, the report said. He also went on to become the deputy director of Channel 8.

Huang is one of about 20 officials and staff from the network who have been taken away for investigation in recent months.

Since the end of May, the broadcaster's financial news channel director, Guo Zhenxi, the channel's deputy director, Li Yong, and producer Tian Liwu have been taken into custody on suspicion of corruption.

Popular economic news anchor Rui Chenggang, and the director of the network's documentary channel, Liu Wen, are also under official investigation.

Caixin also reported that more than 1 million yuan (HK$1.25 million) in cash was found in Li Yong's office.

Rui Chenggang was taken directly from the national broadcaster's premises on July 15 without programme staff being informed.

Caixin reported that several women anchors as well as directors of related channels were also questioned but were later released.

Huang was quoted by mainland media as saying that the fundamental principle for choosing programmes for the broadcaster was that they be "interesting".

He said about 14,000 television series were produced around the country each year.

Additional reporting by Minnie Chan