The KBS board of directors on Thursday recommended former vice president Cho Dae-hyun as its new CEO, who will be appointed by President Park Geun-hye.
The board selected Cho out of six candidates in a vote held Wednesday evening. The nominee won by an absolute majority, the board said.
Cho, if appointed, will lead the nation’s largest public broadcaster until November 2015, filling the top post vacated by Gil Hwan-young.
Gil was dismissed last month by the board after a high-profile controversy over his alleged political meddling in news coverage and an ensuing monthlong strike by unionized journalists.
Cho joined KBS in 1978 as a producer and has held various positions, including KBS vice president, before becoming president of KBSMedia in November 2011.
KBS’ two labor unions, which jointly led the walkout against Gil, view the nominee as unfit for the job, taking issue with his past decisions to cancel programs that were critical of the government.
However, the nominee had not been the groups’ main focus among the candidates for the position.
“We demand the nominee present his blueprint on how he will ensure fair, impartial and politically independent news reporting,” one of the groups said in a press statement.
Its alleged lack of editorial independence has been a constant source of criticism against KBS and its chief executives.
Many KBS CEOs, including Kim In-gyu, who ran the firm for three years untill November 2012, had been accused of meddling in news reporting in favor of the government.
By law, the head of state has the authority to appoint and dismiss a KBS chief. The KBS board is comprised of 11 members, recommended by ruling and opposition parties.
By Lee Sun-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)