TV chief Mingkwan resigns after station aired ex-PM's declaration
MCOT Plc president Mingkwan Sangsuwan yesterday quit to take responsibility for allowing caretaker prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to broadcast his declaration of a state of emergency on the night of the coup, a source said yesterday.
Mingkwan decided to step down before the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy sacked him, the source said.
MCOT's Modernine TV was the only channel that aired Thaksin's voice from New York even though Mingkwan tried to persuade the Television Pool of Thailand to relay his order to all stations, which by then had been taken over by the military, including Modernine.
However, Thaksin did not complete his statement. His phone-in message was cut off mid-sentence and Mingkwan was detained.
The Thaksin government had appointed Mingkwan and MCOT's board of directors.
In a statement, the board said it approved the resolution for the whole board and the president, who is also a board member, to resign to "take responsibility for the situation involving the action of the organisation", effective today. The board appointed Chitnarong Kunakridatikarn, executive vice president, as acting president.
The CDRM may pull the "Kui Kui Khao" (News Talk) night-time programme on Modernine TV produced and hosted by Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda, the source said.
His programmes have been criticised as having a pro-Thaksin slant. The CDRM may use corruption allegations involving Sorrayuth and some MCOT executives as an excuse to axe his talk show.
The CDRM may fill Sorrayuth's time slot with Sondhi Limthongkul, a leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy and founder of Phujadkarn newspaper.
The amount that Sorrayuth's company supposedly withheld from paying MCOT is Bt70 million. The source said Sorrayuth had paid the station all he owed and his programme may not be dropped.
Another programme that may be cancelled is "Sathani Sanam Pao" (Sanam Pao Station) by former Thai Rak Thai party list MP Chakkraphan Yomchinda.
His programme on Channel 5 also airs opinions and comments in support of the former government. The programme got an exclusive interview with Thaksin before he went abroad.