MBC president is dismissed for helping ParkThe Foundation of Broadcast Culture (FBC) directors passed a motion to dismiss Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) president Kim Jang-kyom during a board meeting on Monday.
Kim was accused of allowing former President Park Geun-hye to influence MBC’s operation, and the dismissal also brought an end to MBC labor union’s strike on Wednesday.
On Monday, the FBC, MBC’s largest shareholder, held a board meeting attended by six members to vote on the dismissal. All five members affiliated with the ruling Democratic party voted in favor, while the only member to attend from the opposition party abstained.
This marked the second time the FBC fired an MBC president, following Kim Jae-chul’s dismissal in 2013. Kim Jae-chul is currently being investigated for allegedly excluding producers and celebrities critical of the Lee Myung-bak government.
The five FBC board members held Kim Jang-kyom accountable for several wrongdoings, including damaging public interest and allowing political interference. Kim was not present at the meeting.
The dismissal was finalized in a shareholders’ meeting that followed the board meeting. In attendance was a director of the FBC, which holds 70 percent of the shares, and a director of the Chungsoo Scholarship Foundation, which holds 30 percent and has its roots in an education foundation established by former President Park Chung Hee, the impeached President Park’s father.
After his dismissal was confirmed, Kim issued a statement deploring the decision. “In what type of country does a government try so hard to bring down the president of a broadcasting company?” He added, “I’m sorry for failing to keep MBC’s independence from those in power.”
Upon ending the strike, labor union officials said they will normalize news programs, television dramas and entertainment shows by steps until a new CEO is elected. The MBC labor union began their strike last September, calling for the resignation of the management team.
“Kim Jang-kyom has become the symbol of MBC’s destruction,” a union statement said. “We can now normalize MBC which has descended into ruins. We will work hard to make revisions to guarantee MBC’s political autonomy.”
BY NOH JIN-HO, KIM EUN-JIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]