i-Cable sackings ‘to boost news department’

Under-fire broadcaster i-Cable Communications has defended the sacking of three senior newsroom staff, insisting it’s aimed at boosting the news department and ensuring it stay competitive in future.

The chief financial officer of i-Cable, Kwok Chi-kin, sought to calm nerves in a meeting with news department staff on Monday morning.

More than 200 staff have signed a petition, demanding an explanation to the immediate dismissal of their engineering department colleagues who, they said, are “core members of the editorial team”. The news management team said they had no prior knowledge of the decision and that it would have no impact on the running of i-Cable News.

At the meeting on Monday, Kwok explained to staff that the trio’s dismissal was the result of a review of i-Cable’s organisational structure and human resources.

In a press statement, i-Cable said management and staff had a “frank” discussion. It also said moves have been made to meet the company’s human resources needs, and the daily operations of the news department will not be affected.

Kwok also said i-Cable has had its share of operational difficulties, therefore it needs to review its resources on a regular basis to remain competitive. The company also pledged support for the news department’s management team which took over less than a month ago.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association has also voiced concern about the job losses at i-Cable. It urged media companies to avoid cutting staff as much as possible.
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