THAILAND: Channel 11 director transferred

A committee has been established to investigate why the prime minister's weekly television program has been interrupted repeatedly and to recommend how to prevent further interruptions

Bangkok Post
Monday, August 24, 2009

Prime Minister's Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey on Monday issued an order transferring Suriyong Hunthasarn from the post of director of Channel 11, or NBT, for repeated disruptions occurring during live broadcasts of the "Confidence in Thailand with PM Abhisit", which airs every Sunday.

Mr Suriyong has been replaced by Rattana Charoenpak, director of the Surat Thani-based Region 5 Office of the Public Relations Department (PRD). He has in turn replaced Mrs Rattana in Surat Thani.

Mr Satit said he signed the order after consulting PRD director-general Pachern Khampho and PM's Office permanent secretary Nathee Premrassami.

He said there had been repeated interruptions during broadcasts of the prime minister's talk show, the most recent being on Sunday when the programme abruptly went off the air for a time.

Mr Satit said a committee has been set up to investigate and report in seven days. The committee must recommend what should be done to ensure future programmes are problem free.

He also ordered a total administrative overhaul at state-run Channel 11.

Mr Suriyong, who was on an official trip in Nakhon Ratchasima, said he had not received the order his transfer.   He said the disruption of the signal on Sunday was being investigated and he could not yet give any details.

Initially, it was believed to be a technical problem, said Mr Suriyong. He had made a report on the disruption to the PRD director-general.