STAR TV set for major re-organisation


News Corporation is in the process of a major restructure of its Asian entertainment business STAR TV, according to TelevisionPoint.

The revamp of STAR TV is a corporate streamlining move inspired by Fox International Channels (FIC) boss David Haslingden and News Corp.’s European and Asian boss James Murdoch.

As part of the restructuring process, Laureen Ong, chief operating officer (COO), STAR TV, who joined the company in May 2007, has been pink-slipped, though her contract runs till May 2010. The News Corp. veteran remains on hand to advise on the transition and there almost certainly will be more layoffs at STAR.

Sneaking about the departure of Laureen Ong, Paul Aiello, chief executive officer (CEO), STAR TV, says, “Laureen is an experienced and valued media executive. She has been a friend and a mentor to many in the company ��� we will miss her. She has played a key leadership role in rejuvenating some of our brands and expanding the reach of our popular channels globally.”

Ong said, “I feel fortunate to have joined a company as vibrant and progressive as Star and to have worked with so many talented colleagues. It has been an honour for me and I would like to thank everyone for their support and wish them all the best.”

There have been further management realignments at News Corp. stateside as a result of Peter Chernin’s exit as president and COO at the end of June and the hiring of Chase Carey to fill those roles and assume the deputy chairman title.

The revamp suggests that management of national channels will be devolved to smaller structures in their target markets. In particular, operations in India might be repackaged as locally managed clusters that are closer to their audiences.

In addition to the global financial collapse, STAR India has been hit by the plunging advertising market and competitive challenges in India and investment in new regional channels. Details might be thrashed out this week during a series of internal meetings involving top management flown to Hong Kong from India and other countries.

STAR TV packages 60 regional and national channels in 13 Asian languages and broadcasts in 53 Asian countries. Beyond Hong Kong, it has offices in India, Taiwan, mainland China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the US and the UK.

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