Monday, September 2, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: James Shing quits role as ATV's executive director

I’ve been really busy recently, so haven’t had a chance to update my blog (my apologies once again to those who continue to read and support my blog).  There have actually been quite a lot of ‘developments’ in the world of HK entertainment in the past few months as well as many many articles worth reading / translating – unfortunately though, I haven’t been able to find much time  to spare with my busy schedule to do much translating….with that said however, I have definitely continued to keep up with the latest in HK entertainment news so I can keep myself current on the latest happenings and such.

For those who have been reading up on HK entertainment news, the ‘biggest’ news of late is of course the ‘controversy’ surrounding ATV and its executive director James Shing.   To be honest, I’ve never liked Mr. Shing from the beginning (when he took over ATV several years ago) – the guy has always been a worthless ‘puppet’ under the control of ATV investor Wong Ching and his ‘antics’ the past 3 years or so pretty much prove how much of an idiot he is.  Therefore, when I heard the ‘news’ last week that the Communications Authority (aka the Broadcasting Authority) won its case against ATV and not only penalized the station (in the form of monetary fine), but also gave them an ‘ultimatum’ – ATV must fire its chief executive director James Shing within 7 days (deadline is September 1st) or else risk having its free-to-air TV license revoked – I was actually very very ECSTATIC!!! 

While it’s true that I’ve never been a fan or supporter of ATV and to be very honest, that station has been run into the toilet so badly over the past decade that it’s beyond salvageable (which means that I could really care less what happens to the station), part of me still remembers ATV’s ‘glory days’ back in the 70s (when it was still under its previous name of Rediffusion Television) as well as 80s/early 90s.  Sure, ATV was never able to ‘surpass’ TVB in terms of ratings or popularity, but there were numerous times when ATV actually WAS a formidable ‘competitor’ against TVB in that TVB actually felt ‘threatened’ by the station’s existence and therefore rolled out a lot of great programming to combat this ‘threat’ (yup, so ATV’s 56 year existence didn’t go completely to waste).  Plus there are quite a few artists and behind the scenes people who came from ATV and whom I’ve ‘followed’ for many years, so for their sake I don’t want to ‘discredit’ ATV completely.  So pretty much, even though I don’t really give a damn about ATV nowadays, I still pay attention to news about them and yes, I still do get pissed off when I read about the imbecilic management who run ATV (honestly, those morons make TVB’s management look like ‘angels’…LOL!!). 

Anyway, I went ahead and posted the latest article I found about James Shing quitting his executive director post at ATV (though it’s actually not the best article on the issue – I’ve read quite a few articles on the subject lately and there are plenty of articles out there that are more detailed….I chose this particular one merely because it’s written in English so I wouldn’t have to translate it…). 

While James Shing’s ‘resignation’ won’t necessarily mean the ‘end’ to Wong Ching’s involvement in ATV’s affairs (especially since it’s rumored that the new executive director also has ties to Wong Ching), at least it’s a step in the right direction in terms of the HK government FINALLY doing something about the ‘corrupt’ HK television industry by forcing out people who should never be involved in the television business in the first place.  Though I feel that the ‘ousting’ of James Shing is “too little, too late” and most likely won’t do a thing to change ATV’s fate in the long run, I can’t help feeling happy about the situation. 

Lastly…this may sound mean, but I just have to say it….

GOOD RIDDANCE, MR. SHING!!!   You definitely WON’T be missed -- though I do echo the sentiments of many former ATV employees such as director Wong Jing, Chapman To, Anthony Wong, Elena Kong, etc. who have all publicly stated that they wish James Shing continues to REFUSE all attempts at ousting him because then that means ATV will finally get its license revoked (it’s truly sad when even ATV’s former employees don’t support the station and instead want to see it closed down…haha…talk about ‘no eye see’!).  What the future will hold for ATV in the long run is uncertain, but one thing’s for sure – in the short term, this move will at least hold ATV over until 2015 when its license is set to expire….my prediction is that ATV won’t survive beyond that…whether that’s a ‘good’ thing or ‘bad’ one – you decide for yourself!


James Shing quits role as ATV's executive director
Station chief complies with part of government order to resign, but may still be on ATV board

Article originally posted September 2, 2013 (originally written in English by Vivienne Chow at SCMP)

ATV's James Shing Pan-yu has finally relinquished his role as the broadcaster's executive director.

Yesterday, ATV announced that it had on Saturday received documents signed by Shing confirming his resignation from the position immediately.

But it was unclear if he had also quit the ATV board.

Shing is required by the Communications Authority to step down from both his roles as executive director and board director by today.

The order came after the authority released its investigation report on ATV on August 23, concluding that Shing had breached the licensing terms by allowing investor Wong Ching to exercise de facto control over the station. Shing and Wong are relatives.

The authority said Shing was no longer a "fit and proper person" for the role as stipulated in the Broadcasting Ordinance. It also fined the station HK$1 million for the breach.

Shing, who was executive director for more than three years, last week said he was "willing to sacrifice himself for ATV".

Yesterday, it remained unclear if he had fully complied with the authority's order, but the Companies Registry showed he remained a board director.

ATV did not respond to queries on this matter by press time. Shing could not be contacted.

The authority said it would continue to monitor ATV to ensure that the broadcaster complied with its ruling. Meanwhile, ATV said Louie King-bun, who was late last month appointed a board director, would replace Shing.

Louie, who was formerly executive editor of pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao, joined ATV as vice-president last year.

He became mired in controversy after an episode of ATV Focus, of which he is in charge, ran critical comments against student group Scholarism for opposing the introduction of national education classes at the height of the debate last year.

The Communications Authority received more than 10,000 complaints against the programme after it aired last September.

But the controversy did little to mar Louie's rapidly advancing career in ATV - in June, he was promoted to senior vice-president, succeeding the retiring Kwong Hoi-ying.


  1. So I don't really understand... the investor is not allowed to have control over their TV station. But like "6th uncle" and "6th aunt" has run TVB for a long time before?? But certainly ATV is a mess and better off closed down

    1. @miriamfanz: Need to go back and check, but if I remember correctly, there's some sort of stipulation in the agreement Wong Ching has that he's not allowed to get involved in decision making's different from Uncle Six and his wife, as they started TVB and owned majority stake in the company, so they controlled everything and called all the shots. James Shing is sort of the equivalent of Uncle Six in the past and Charles Chan now....he's supposed to call the shots, not Wong Ching..

  2. For the better of the actors and better who are still working for ATV without anyone watching, I also hope they'll close down! For so many years I was so depressed over the actors who are 10x better than TVB's actors weren't getting recognition such as Kristal Tin, Ruco Chan(ChinPang), Elena Kong, Joey Meng, Alice Chan, Pinky Cheung, Kenneth Chan, list goes on. When most of them finally joined TVB I was relieved of the painful feelings.

    So for the sake of talented artistes that might still be lost in the joke of a company ATV they need to close it down!

    ATV did have original series and many of which TVB copied. But after 2005 they've stopped filming series completely. Not to mention they improve their visual quality and management/promotions are horrid.

    1. @sport3888: Totally agree -- ATV is beyond salvageable at this point and might as well just shut down (especially since Wong Ching isn't actually out of the picture yet, since the new guy taking over for Mr. Shing is also one of Wong Ching's "lackeys").

      I mean, it's actually gotten to the point where none of ATV's former big stars are willing to support I mentioned, alot of former artists are embarrassed to even be associated with the station and have called for them to shut down (Chapman To's comments were the funniest...haha)....even Kenneth Chan and Gilbert Lam (both of ATV's most popular 'siu sangs' back in the day) said that they won't be renewing their contracts with ATV in the future (I think their contracts end this year).

      You know, the interesting thing is that ATV is now thinking about producing series again, but honestly, I feel it's too late...first of all, they have so few artists working for them right now (I think one of the articles said they had less than 50 artists signed to them and almost all of them are 'no name' beauty pageant people (Mr. and Miss Asia). Second, if they do go back to producing series, my guess is that it's going to be some type of Mainland collaboration thing (since ATV obviously doesn't have the resources or the means to do it themselves) -- we all know how those Mainland / HK productions have turned out so far....

  3. I do have to give ATV credit for producing series that you'd actually want to rewatch many times such as Good Old Days, My Date With a Vampire 1-3, Project Ji Xiang, Venture Against Time, I Have a Date with Spring, etc. Most of these series were written by ChanSapSam (Joey Meng's husband), who is such an amazing scriptwriter. I think he has long left ATV and focused in the mainland industry?

    1. @sport3888: Your guess is as good as mine with regard to Chan Sap Sam focusing on Mainland...I'm not a huge follower of ATV so not as well-versed in this area. Though also keep in mind there's a possibility he's still involved in HK movies as well, since he did join the movie industry after he left ATV as a scriptwriter in the 90s and then returned to ATV later to take a higher position.

      Either way, agreed that he's definitely an amazing scriptwriter -- one of the few great ones that the HK entertainment industry had/still has.

  4. Opps I also forgot, Lights of a Million Hope, it definitely garnered alot of talk within my family. And in a way I feel TVB Brother's Keeper which Ruco also stars in, copied their idea.

    1. @sport3888: wonder the synopsis for Brother's Keeper sounded so familiar! So I guess Louise Lee could be considered similar to Fung Bo Bo's character then? I actually never watched Lights of a Million Hope (that series was way too long even for someone like me), but I heard alot about the series back when it first came out.

      I'm actually not surprised that TVB copied the idea (in reading the summary for Lights of a Million Hope, it definitely does sound similar) because that's what they always do....let's hope that Brother's Keeper will be a decent series though (it's hard to say nowadays with the way TVB's productions have been faring...)

    2. Yea me too, BK's plotline is such an overused plotline of brother vs villainous brother in the 90s compared to Lights which was actually refreshing and original.

      Really hope Bk's plot will be worth watching since my favorites Ruco and Kristal are both in it. Ruco's police role definitely reminds me a bit of Marco Lo Hing Fai's policeman role in Lights except Marco was a good guy being framed and thrown under the bus by his superior when he went undercover. I really miss Marco Lo and Mark Kwok's acting. It's really too bad both who got noticed in Kindred Spirit ended up leaving E-circle. Both were so talented in acting especially Marco. I'd so rather watch them than many of TVB's actors right now besides Ruco Chan and Raymond Wong.