Star China Media, the joint venture between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and state-backed China Media Capital, announced a major shake-up at the top Thursday.

Tian Ming will take over as CEO from Jack Gao, who has been appointed senior VP at News Corp. and CEO of News Corp. China Investments. Gao’s brief is to develop News Corp.’s other investment opportunities in China.

Tian is former group VP of Shanghai Media Group, where he oversaw flagship channel, Dragon TV, and variety programming. He created many hit skeins, including “China’s Got Talent,” “My Hero” and “Mr. Zhou Live Show.”

Cao Zhigao has been appointed chief operating officer, joining from SearchMedia Holdings.

“Tian Ming’s media background and his impressive track record of growing television companies can’t come at a better time as SCM is gearing up for significant expansion,” said SCM chairman Li Ruigang in a statement.

In 2009, News Corp. restructured its business to focus more on India amid longterm frustrations about breaking into the Chinese market in any meaningful way because of strict controls on the media biz.

However, the link with China Media Capital, established in April 2009 with the backing of the state’s National Development and Reform Commission, now appears to be opening doors in China.

SCM was set up in August when CMC paid $740 million for controlling stakes of Murdoch’s Chinese-language channels and library.

SCM broadcasts Chinese-language channels Xing Kong, Xing Kong Intl. and Channel [V] Mainland China, and owns Fortune Star, the world’s largest contempo Chinese film library.