Friday 18 February 2011

My top 5 favourite MediaCorp CEOs (Who’s the handsomest of them all)

A few days ago, my former employer, MediaCorp, announced the surprise resignation of its chief executive officer, Lucas Chow.

So what better time to count down my top five fave MediaCorp CEOs?

5. Moses Lee

Not to be confused with Moses Lim, the older fat guy in Under One Roof.

Technically, Moses wasn’t a CEO, but the general manager. And it wasn’t MediaCorp at the time, but the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

This was back in the early 1990s when the national broadcaster was still a statutory board.

I’ve never actually met Moses, but he is my least favourite because he ended my dream of being Singapore’s Roger Ebert.

I used to be a movie reviewer on a Channel 5 programme called Live On 5 hosted by Gurmit Singh until I was told that the GM wanted me off the air because apparently, I was too contemptuous in my review of a movie he liked.

It was a long time ago, but I think the movie was Robin Hood: Men In Tights

4. Franklin Wong

He was the CEO of MediaCorp Studios in the early 2000s.

The only time I met him was after I had resigned to join SPH MediaWorks and he made a half-hearted attempt to persuade me to stay, but I could barely understand him because of his thick Hong Kong accent.

3. Ernest Wong

He was Lucas’s predecessor and resigned shortly after I rejoined MediaCorp. So I can “earnestly” say I didn’t work under his reign long enough to have an opinion about him.

"Earnestly", get it?

2. Lucas Chow

Hands down, the handsomest CEO that MediaCorp has ever had. His hair should be designated a national treasure.
The longest conversation I had with him was when he asked me for directions to the make-up room.

This was in 2007 just before the filming of the series finale special of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd where Lucas was set to appear to give away a prize. I was the show's executive producer.

He too had a Hong Kong accent, but was a little more intelligible.

1. Lee Cheok Yew

He was my CEO at both the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) and SPH MediaWorks.

In 2000, I was part of a group sent to Cannes, France, for an international TV trade show. On one of the days there, Cheok Yew, another executive and I rented a car to explore the region. We drove all the way to Monaco.

But the most unforgettable part of the road trip for me was eating some raw seafood and having the most spectacularly explosive diarrhoea of my life when I returned to my hotel room.

Because of this cherished memory, Cheok Yew will always be my favourite MediaCorp CEO.

- Unpublished

UPDATE: Shaun Seow has been announced as the new MediaCorp CEO. His greatest claim to fame is that he is married to former MediaCorp news presenter Zahara Lateef who was jailed for maid abuse in 2000. She now goes by her married name Zahara Seow.

APRIL 2017 UPDATE: Mediacorp CEO Shaun Seow steps down