Rumor mill reels over top spot at Star TV

Star TV has denied reports that BSkyB supremo Sam Chisholm will take over the chief executive chair vacated last week by Julian Mounter.

“That’s definitely not right, absolutely not,” a Star spokeman said, declining to venture just who may score the plum spot in Asia’s booming broadcast industry.

“An announcement will be made in the next 10 days or so,” he said, confirming that the “outstanding guy” had already been chosen.

In the running

Names mentioned so far are Chisholm’s BSkyB deputy Gary Davey and Clarence C.P. Chang, head of News Corp. subsid News Asia Development Group Ltd., who looks after international TV development in the East.

The appointee will report to Chisholm, who will remain in charge of News Corp.’s international satellite operations.

Chisholm, who left for London Tuesday after just over a week in the colony, is likely to make the announcement personally as his return and the promised announcement coincide.

“I’ll be back in a week to 10 days,” he said hours before departure.

Table talk

One key executive, who with his colleagues attended a lunch hosted by Chisholm Tuesday, has entertained and intrigued his underlings with veiled hints that he knows “something,” but no one else at the lunch would admit to any knowledge.

“Either he’s teasing or he’s the only one to not be tongue-tied by loyalty, fear, monetary incentive or whatever motivation Chisholm practices,” an observer commented.

No bloodbath

The speculative buzz is building day by day, however.

At this stage, it’s likely that only a few trusted retainers know for sure who the new Star boss will be.

Meanwhile, Chisholm has promised there will be no bloodbath such as followed when Sky and BSkyB merged in the United Kingdom.

“It’s business as usual. There are no changes planned,” he said.”We have bought a company and the staff have jobs and contracts with the company.”

He insisted it’s too early to determine whether Star will take new directions; however, he has said Asian viewers can expect much more choice, including BSkyB’s Discovery and UK Gold channels.

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