Hong Kong's TV broadcasting industry suffered another loss yesterday when NBC Asia laid off 75 staff at its Chai Wan headquarters and announced it was moving to Singapore as part of a new joint venture with National Geographic Television Worldwide (NGT). From July 1, the news, entertainment and sports programming mix of NBC Asia will be replaced by what channel president SK Fung called NGT's 'quality documentaries'. The channel will be called the National Geographic Channel Asia and it will be a joint venture between the General Electric-owned NBC network and NGT. Mr Fung said 'by doing this we are giving viewers and advertisers a strong and clear focus of what this channel is about'. The new programming would be a 'strong improvement' on NBC Asia since it went on air in April 1996. The change is the latest in a series of blows to Hong Kong's hopes of being a regional base for satellite and cable TV programmers. Last month, the MGM Gold movie channel abruptly closed and China Entertainment TV has no guarantee of remaining on air after the end of this month, when a last-minute cash infusion runs out. In February, NBC Asia's sister channel, the business service CNBC, began operations in Singapore after the creation of a joint venture with Dow Jones' Asia Business News. Since 1995, MTV, Discovery Channel and Star Sports have all uprooted from Hong Kong and relocated their main operations to Singapore. The changes have meant about 400 job losses. Mr Fung described the atmosphere as 'sombre' after breaking the news to staff. A skeleton staff of about 10 people will remain in Hong Kong to help with the distribution of CNBC and the National Geographic Channel.