20 May 2019
ATV management met with staff on Tuesday to allay concerns about the future of the company. Photos: HKEJ,
ATV management met with staff on Tuesday to allay concerns about the future of the company. Photos: HKEJ,

Staff lose patience even as ATV seeks a white knight

Some employees of Asia Television Ltd. (ATV) have made up their minds to leave the troubled TV station, while some are calling on the government to step in and exert pressure on the owners to resolve the issues plaguing the broadcaster, am730 reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, ATV management has called a staff meeting to comfort the employees who have doubts about their future following salary arrears and other problems, according to the report.

Senior vice president Yip Ka-bo is said to have claimed that more than a dozen parties were interested in acquiring ATV and that the situation is getting better. A buyer is likely to be confirmed soon, he reportedly said.

A representative from ATV’s accountants, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, also confirmed that they are in touch with a potential white knight, but said the discussions are yet to reach an advanced stage when a price can be discussed.

ATV on Tuesday kept its promise to pay half of the November salary to its staff. It urged the employees “not to give up, and to overcome the hardship together”.

Yip described the current period as the most critical moment for ATV in its 57-year history. The management is doing everything possible to prevent the company’s broadcast license from being taken away because of employee salary arrears, he said.

Yip apologized to the staff and promised that the remainder of the November salary will be paid to staff on January 5 and that “there were plans” for the December salary.

Despite the call from management, ATV News Chinese editor Law Pui-king is among those who will leave her post on January 1, the report said.

Law said she was puzzled as to why the government has not intervened as ATV has blatantly failed its basic responsibilities as a license holder and employer to pay staff salaries on time.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association said it was ironical that ATV has not fulfilled its duties although the station kept referring itself as the conscience of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Television Network Ltd., meanwhile, said it does not see any opportunities for cooperation with ATV at the moment. However, it will try its best to offer any help to the industry as a whole, it said.

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