RTHK's top post to be offered to outside candidates

Jimmy Cheung

The post vacated by director of broadcasting Chu Pui-hing will be open to applications from outsiders and internal staff at the same time, the government said yesterday.

The move comes after the government formally approved Mr Chu's early retirement in July over a scandal in which he was photographed hiding behind a woman reported to be a karaoke hostess.

Mr Chu later apologised for his behaviour, but denied his official duties had been compromised.

The government decision spares the RTHK chief from disciplinary action, a government source said.

The government-funded broadcaster has been fighting to transform itself into an independent public broadcaster, and a government consultation on the transition will be launched later this year.

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, which oversees RTHK, said yesterday that an executive search agency had been appointed to help with recruitment.


The new director will be appointed for 21/2 years and the job criteria will be advertised in two to three weeks.

'We understand the public concern about the arrangements regarding the appointment of the director of broadcasting,' a bureau spokesman said.

'To identify the most suitable candidate for the post, the government considers it necessary to allow eligible candidates from the private sector and within the civil service to apply for the position through an open process.'

This is the first time the post of broadcasting director has been put up for open recruitment.


It is also the highest-ranking government job that has been opened up to outside candidates in recent years.

The candidate should be a permanent resident, with the leadership and management skills to head a local public broadcasting organisation, the spokesman said.


The post is also open to civil servants ranked directorate Grade 2 or above.

This means assistant director of broadcasting Tai Keen-man, who is the RTHK staff's favoured candidate but was not senior enough for promotion to the deputy post last year, can also apply.