Propaganda chief to head CCTV

Jiao takes helm at China's biggest broadcaster

BEIJING — The Chinese government has appointed propaganda czar Jiao Li as prexy of the country’s biggest broadcaster, China Central Television.

Jiao is vice-minister for the propaganda department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee. He replaces Zhao Huayong, who the Xinhua news agency had retired because he had reached the official retirement age of 60.

Jiao was the propaganda chief of the northeastern province of Liaoning before his move to the central government in Beijing last year.

The government was embarrassed after the TVCC building, a companion to the CCTV signature building designed by star architect Rem Koolhaas, was gutted by a fire on Feb. 9. The fire was caused by an illegal Chinese New Year firework celebration, and the blaze killed one firefighter and completely gutted the $730 million hotel.

The building was due to house the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The State Council ordered a probe and, in March, 12 people were formally arrested in connection with the fire, including the former head of CCTV’s construction bureau, Xu Wei.

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