The latest bid to use a new management team to sweep the cobwebs out of terrestrial broadcaster Asia Television collapsed even before it got properly under way, with the shock 'resignation' of new chief executive Ricky Wong Wai-kay just 12 days into the job. Insiders say behind the deeply embarrassing development was an instant and fatal clash of wills and style between Mr Wong and chairman Linus Cheung Wing-lam, who was appointed ATV chairman on December 4, the same day Mr Wong got the job of chief executive. Together, the two 'tigers' were intended to stem the flow of red ink at ATV, which is reported to be losing HK$1 million a day after racking up losses of HK$300 million last year. But as the saying goes, two tigers cannot share one mountain. Mr Cheung slipped in a brief statement about the affair at the end of a press conference called at ATV's Tai Po headquarters on Monday to release information about the station's Miss Asia Pageant results. He candidly told the media Mr Wong had resigned because the two of them had strong disagreements about the management style. But the embarrassment for all concerned took another turn when Mr Wong, back at his desk as chairman of City Telecom, issued a statement through his company that he had not resigned and would amplify on the matter later. The blow-up between the two came at an internal ATV meeting intended to introduce the new leaders to staff who heard they planned to ensure that critics could no longer brand ATV as a 'pro-Beijing' broadcaster, or the equivalent of China Central Television in Hong Kong. Mr Wong had also indicated he wanted to change the style of ATV's news programmes, which raised public criticism on the potential intervention in editorial direction. Such a 'pro-Beijing' tag damaged the station's credibility among Hong Kong viewers. In the murky world of office politics, a video of the internal meeting was posted on the video-sharing website YouTube - evidently by ATV's press relations department. Who gave the go-ahead for the posting is less clear, but the talk around town is that it was Mr Wong. What is more certain is that Mr Cheung was so aggrieved by the way the meeting went and the video to show Mr Wong the door. The barbs about being pro-Beijing will not sit well with ATV's controlling shareholders, the Cha family, who evidently came under a lot of criticism from various sources for appointing the two men in the first place. 'So somebody decided to put an end to this stupid drama and the chairman, who is appointed by the board of directors, said Mr Wong was to blame,' a source said. The drama's aftershocks may linger and industry watchers say it will take time for ATV to recover from the mess, especially as the government has also voiced concern over the management change. 'ATV seems to have become a drama series of its own, which is not good news in the local television market,' a former employee said. 'The mess will further strengthen rival Television Broadcasts' dominance.' A former ATV senior executive said: 'The real loser will be ATV. The broadcaster now needs time to rebuild public confidence.' Mr Wong said he would meet the press this week on his resignation.