Wednesday, April 21, 2004

[Sing Pao]

Recently, there have been some changes in TVB's senior staff as well as its artistes and production staff and everyone is frightened with the threat of job cuts in the air. Seeing this, TVB especially organised for members of the board to chair a special press conference attended by over 40 artistes and with the slogan "New Mission, New Outlook - Together with one heart, Creating a new journey" sharing the common goals of the near future and helping to inject a new confidence in the company.

Those present at the event included Nancy Sit, Adam Cheng, Natalis Chan, Sonija Kwok, Anne Heung, Charmaine Sheh, Ada Choi, Jessica Hsuan, Bobby Au-Yeung, Moses Chan, Raymond Lam, Joyce Tang, Marco Ngai, Steven Ma, Joe Ma, Mandy Cho and Shirley Yeung. When Chan Chi Wan was asked why Liza Wang had not been invited, he explained that the event had been organised by artiste department head Lok Yik Ling and as it was at very short notice and the space at the venue was limited and unable to house all 400 artistes, so only those managed by TVB and those filming current shows were asked to attend.

As for Natalis and Steven, Mr Chan said: "When Nat heard the news, he insisted on giving his support! Steven heard the news whilst he was abroad and came back especially for this." When Nat arrived, he greeted Ho Ding Kwan and said: "I never thought it would be so grand, morale is quite high!" Mr Ho replied rather awkwardly when he heard this and said: "We have some new colleagues to welcome." To which Nat replied: "So many stars, thanks for inviting me!" Afterwards, TVB arranged for a photocall with the artistes and the new executives and Ms Lok tripped over but was saved from embarrassment by Chan Shui Ching and some of the admin team. Mr Chan later revealed Ms Lok's nickname was "620" and laughed: "Did you plan to trip over? If you did, you should have asked me to help you up."

General Manager of the board and enterprise Ho Ding Kwan indicated that he does not agree that the press conference is to boost morale. He says: "On the 15th April, the company will have a new mission and we wanted to use this chance to present it to the artistes and create an understanding of the company's business enterprises. Together with Chan Chi Wan, Cheng Sin Keung and the absent Yip Yui Yu, we will be working together to build the success of the company results." As for the matter of staff cuts, he points out that every year, there are about 30-40 people who leave anyway and there has not been a large scale cutting of jobs. As for the suggestion that Mona Fong is changing the blood in the company after taking power, he returns the question: "Have there been many changes since Ms Fong joined? I don't see there being a very big change."

Mr Chan revealed that in the future developments, there will be an additional 100 hours of production and after the current co-operation with Thai Television, there will be more international joint ventures, including Singapore and the Mainland and an active encouragement of artiste interaction. Also, TVB will be actively training up new staff before and behind the camera, creating more professionals, seeking out good quality productions and increasing the communication from within and externally. As for reports that Tommy Leung and Lau Ka Ho have been demoted to just producers, Mr Chan says that they attended as managers, but sometimes managers want to go back and take part in production too. Cheng Sin Keung announced some good news in that for the first time since 2001, their advertising revenue has been on target, beating it in April and he estimates that this year there will be 10% growth. Also he says that TVB will be developing its digital technology to break into the Southern China market.


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