Stephen Chan Beats All Odds and Returns to TVB!

By on November 17, 2010 in NEWS, Scandals

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Stephen Chan Chi Wan has returned to TVB! Plagued by a corruption scandal since March, Mr. Chan was formally charged by the ICAC and was on administrative leave from TVB. Although the court proceedings have not ended, TVB Deputy Chairman, Mona Fong, reinstated Mr. Chan’s former General Manager title.  Allegedly, Ms. Fong persuaded the TVB Board of Directors to allow Mr. Chan to resume his position.  Mr. Chan appeared at a secret meeting to meet with board members yesterday.

On September 16th, there were rumors that Mr. Chan would return to TVB. However, the ICAC pressed formal charges against Mr. Chan and the reinstatement was immediately stopped. Things took a dramatic turn when TVB issued a press release to all major Hong Kong media announcing Mr. Chan’s immediate reinstatement yesterday.

In TVB’s press release, the Board of Directors stated that the nature and substance of the ICAC allegations against Mr. Chan revolve around artist management only. Mr. Chan had other responsibilities as General Manager which were unrelated to the ICAC charges. The Board decided to resume Mr. Chan’s previous responsibilities except those involving talent management and casting arrangements.

Mr. Chan was able to resume his position at TVB due to the strong support of Ms. Fong. During Mr. Chan’s administrative leave, Ms. Fong kept in close contact and consulted with him on TVB work matters. Ms. Fong still held Mr. Chan in high esteem. Although Mr. Chan hoped to resume all of his previous responsibilities, Ms. Fong faced opposition from the TVB Board of Directors, which consisted of Mark Lee Bo On, Mrs. Christina Lee, and Norman Leung Nai Pang, etc.   Despite initial opposition, Ms. Fong did not give up and continued to lobby for Mr. Chan’s return.

Mark Lee Gives Up Mr. Chan’s Former Responsibilities

To avoid complications, TVB kept Mr. Chan’s reinstatement arrangements highly secretive. Only a handful of senior management were informed. After the Board of Directors approved Mr. Chan’s return the day before, TVB issued a press release yesterday announcing his reinstatement. In lieu of the secretive Board meeting, many people initially thought that Vice Chairman, Norman Leung, would retire.

Scheduled to resume work at 10 AM yesterday, Mr. Chan arrived at work early at 8:45 AM. Accompanied  by Norman Leung, Mr. Chan entered the conference room and said to his colleagues, “I am so sorry, everyone! Over the past few months, I brought about so much trouble!” Realizing that Mr. Chan was making a comeback with strong backing, everyone burst into applause. Mr. Leung asked all senior managers to fully support Mr. Chan.

During Mr. Chan’s administrative leave, his responsibilities were issued to Mark Lee Bo On. Mr. Chan resumed his previous responsibilities with the exception of artist management. As a result, Virginia Lok Yi Ling will temporarily report directly to Mona Fong in this respect.

TVB’s Stock Price Fell

At 4 PM yesterday, Mr. Chan met with the press while accompanied by Deputy Director of External Affairs, Tsang Sing Ming. Mr. Chan did not panic amidst the chaos and appeared smiling widely. He greeted the press, “Sorry to have everyone wait so long! I am extremely grateful to God and TVB for reinstating my position! I had a lot of meeting to attend today. I am very happy to resume my job. I am most concerned about how to work better with my colleagues and produce better programs. Since I have to attend a meeting now, I will talk more with everyone later.” Mr. Chan traveled to an off-site meeting at the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Returning back to TVB City, Mr. Chan worked until 8:30 PM that night before leaving for home.

The ICAC was shocked by Mr. Chan’s reinstatement at TVB. Generally, employees involved in ICAC investigations do not resume their jobs prior to the court ruling. Since TVB was a limited company and in the private sector, the ICAC could not influence this arrangement. Hong Kong stocks fell 334 points yesterday and TVB’s stock shares fell ten cents to $39.25 (HKD).  The Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Securities and Clearing Ltd. declined to comment on Mr. Chan’s reinstatement.

In addition, fashion critic, Nelson, praised Mr. Chan’s wardrobe choice yesterday, praising his fashionable suit and tie selections.

Source: the Sun

Jayne: I am glad to hear Stephen Chan got his job back at TVB! Mr. Chan is very talented and intelligent; TVB would likely benefit from his return. As you can see, his comeback has been sensationalized in the Hong Kong media.

Through this incident, Mr. Chan learned who his true supporters were. The Sun also ran a splashy expose on the artists who distanced themselves from Mr. Chan due to the corruption scandal: Bernice Liu, Patrick Tang, Amigo Chiu, and even Steven Ma. The Sun highlighted Bernice Liu and said that she drew very clear lines between herself and Mr. Chan. Allegedly, when Mr. Chan’s reinstatement was brought up, she did not want to discuss it further and diverted the topic instead.

As a good leader, I hope Mr. Chan does not carry any grudges after resuming his power. The press may or may not be true in the accuracy of which artists distanced themselves, but it is likely true that many did in fact do so.

30 comments to Stephen Chan Beats All Odds and Returns to TVB!

  1. jayzemine says:

    Like you Jayne I am very glad that Stephen is back to TVB. I feel that he is definitely a good addition to TVB with is talent.

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  2. pandamao says:

    Congrats Stephen Chan and I hope that he comes back with a bang.

    After the incident, magazines reported more on his contributions to TVB and it allowed readers to acknowledge his impact.

    Jayne – I have to differ from your opinion on holding grudges. All the artist you named were struggling to make it in TVB. Stephan Chan was the one giving them numerous opportunities because he recognized a true talent in them. Steven Ma, for example, was an evident under dog. With the minimal publicity on his series, he always ends the series with high ratings. Despite Steven Ma’s talent, I was disappointed in his responses to the media regarding his relationship with Stephen Chan. There may be some exaggeration to the issue, but time will tell whether there were some truth to the fabrication.

    I hope Stephen Chan learns from this and distance himself. Stephen Chan was probably thinking, 飲水思源 the whole time he was battling the criminal charges.

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  3. Jayne says:

    Mr. Chan’s corruption scandal and internal politics at TVB may be a good topic for a future TVB corporate-type series. TVB has not done any good, sensational Wall-Street type of dramas aside from “The Greed of Man” (but that series was more about two families vengeance more than corporate showdowns).

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  4. Jayne says:

    Pandamao, Mr. Chan sounds like a generous individual and I don’t think he has time now to count his “betrayers” but I do think he will be eternally grateful towards Wong Hei for his unconditional support throughout the ordeal and Mona Fong’s trust in him.

    From the Sun’s article, Ms. Fong still clearly favors Mr. Chan. They played their cards very well in keeping the whole reinstatement plans secretive, otherwise the plan may have been thwarted before he was able to make a successful return.

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  5. pandamao says:

    Jayne – he might be generous but he’s still human.

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  6. Aly says:

    I’m very sutprised that Stephen got reinstated too even if the court rulings have not been determined yet, but good for him, and he is blessed to have such a supportive boss like Mona Fong. I think only time will show if the audience will accept him back and if he will still have the strong influence and power as he used to have. I think he has learned from this incident who his true friends and supporters are. Wong Hei is definintely one of them, and hopefully Stephen can move on and not hold grudges against those that distanced themselves from him, but rather cherish and reward those supported him the whole time. I’m not saying Wong Hei helped him to get anything in return, as I’m sure his actions and support were genuine, but I’m sure Stephen is grateful and will try to help Wong Hei back.

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  7. Kidd says:

    Very intriguing. It’s quite rare that a company will reinstate an employee that is still under ICAC/police investigation. This is to such a high position some more.

    Best wishes to Stephen Chan.

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  8. Allen says:

    I’m surprised that Stephen Chan got reinstated, but he’s definitely an asset to the company. It is interesting to see where it goes from here.
    I’m not so sure if it’s a good news, even though there wasn’t enough evidence in the corruption case, his reputation is ruined and it will take some time for him to fully get back up on his feet.

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  9. jayne says:

    Although it was a corruption case and involved the ICAC, I wonder what the financials involved are. Edthancy’s PR firm has not been in existence for that long and even if it took unfair commissions, how many millions did he pocket unfairly? I doubt the amount was really that high.

    The tabloids mentioned that Edthancy’s PR firm did not pay TVB artists for some promotional event appearances. From an older article I translated:

    “Five of TVB’s actresses
    will testify in court in Mr. Chan’s trial. On February 7, 2010, Charmaine Sheh Si Man, Tavia Yeung Yi, Shirley Yeung Si Kei, Sharon Chan Man Chi, and Skye Chan Sin Yeung attended a book launch. Mr. Chan’s protege, Edthancy Cong Pei Kun, pocketed $300,000 (HKD) from sponsor, Ma Belle, for the event in January. Yet the artists were not paid for their appearance at the event.”

    So the amount in question for this event was only $300k. Even if there were multiple events such as this, the amount in question does not seem very high. In the scope of ICAC corruption investigations, this would be considered a small case with low financial ramifications. If not for Stephen Chan’s celebrity status due to his high onscreen exposure, the media would never have blown this case to such an extent.

    Btw, the tabloids mentioned that some unpaid TVB artists had complained about not getting paid for their appearances to TVB executive management. Since the media made it sound as if Bernice Liu had such a terrible rift with Stephen and she had testified in court against him, I wonder if she was one of the artists who may complained to Ms. Lok or others about Edthancy’s firm?

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  10. Kidd says:

    Wasn’t it reported last time that it’s Mark Lee Bo On who reported Stephen Chan to ICAC?

    Please correct me if I remembered wrongly.

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  11. Funn Lim says:

    Serious? ReallY? I hope he carries grudges and bid his time when he is ready to unleash hell. Maybe we will see Wong Hei is more good series now?

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  12. Jayne says:

    Kidd, yes it was rumored that Mark Lee reported Mr. Chan to the ICAC. But before that took place, some disgruntled, unpaid artists spoke about the situation to TVB management. So I was thinking since only the above female artists testified in court, perhaps one of them alerted management right after it occurred. But the amount of $300k (HKD) for this event was very low.

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  13. CY says:

    Just curious, did those 5 artists actually testify already or were they scheduled to testify but haven’t actually done so yet?

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  14. Funn Lim says:

    WaiT! THe charge is corruption right? Even if it is unconnected to the charges but he is charged within the same company. Which company would rehire someone charged with corruption within the same establishment? Is this TVB’s way of saying a grudging sorry?

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  15. Jayne says:

    CY, I think the artists have already testified. But the financial scope seemed so miniscule. If these were the only artists testifying, I presume there were few isolated incidents which provide clear evidence for the case.

    Funn, the corruption case is still undergoing trial. Since Mona Fong is so eager to bring Stephen back right now, the progress of the hearings must be in Stephen’s favor. From the sound of things, perhaps she never wanted Mr. Chan to go on administrative leave. Or Mark Lee was not performing to Ms. Fong’s expectations.

    Given the financial ramifications, the case was blown out of proportion by the media. But very fascinating how the politics played out; so much drama.

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  16. clamine says:

    I don’t really get just how Steven Ma actually distanced himself from Stephen Chan? Just because the press reported that he did because he brought his girlfriend to a public function? Is this where a person’s action spoke louder than words, or that a mountain is made out of a molehill, or that the tabloids were spinning tales out of innocuous actions for quick bucks?

    Even before all the corruption hoopla started, Steven had already publicly acknowledged his girlfriend of 6 years on his radio, tv and print interviews. And months before this corruption mess, much was reported on his upcoming marriage. When Appledaily first dragged Steven into an alleged sordid 3 threesome relationship with Stephen and his assistant, Steven kept his silence. But he could not keep his cool and silence when his character was subsequently maligned with the reports on his distancing Stephen refuted the allegation on his yahoo blog. Steven is a person who takes great pride in his upright character. 唉, 我不是這樣的人, 好嗎? 我絕不是一個怕事、為名利、為生存而苟且偷安的人。

    Anyway, I’m not worry about that allegation causing misunderstandings between Steven and Stephen, or that Stephen’s reinstatement will hurt Steven’s career in TVB. Steven claims that he has kept in touch with Mr. Chan all this time. Like he says, he was not the one who drew the line of distancing; it was the HK press that claim he did.

    另外,马浚伟接受电话访问时则替陈志云复工而高兴,也支持公司的明智决定,祝对方工作和事事顺利。问官司未解决便复职会不会不恰当?他说:“不作评论。” 至于早前有报道称他与陈志云划清界线,马浚伟强调划清界线的不是他,上次他从澳洲和美国返港被传媒追问,他透露一直与陈志云保持短讯和电话联络,之前公司 下令低调,因涉及官司才不便回应。

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  17. pandamao says:

    Well I’m hoping Steven Ma is not on the list myself.

    Quite interesting article u got there too.

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  18. Kidd says:

    @ Jayne

    I’m more interested in Bernice. You said the media made it sound like Bernice had such a terrible rift with Stephen. What is the rift?

    Amigo Chui and Patrick Tang being on the list is silly. Amigo Chui has visited Stephen Chan at his home after the corruption news started. Patrick Tang has also kept in contact with Stephen. These were actually reported in news earlier.

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  19. Jayne says:

    Kidd, allegedly Stephen Chan and Virginia Lok do not get along. Ms. Lok has her group of artists that are close to her and not close to Mr. Chan. Bernice is close to Ms. Lok and not Mr. Chan, although the tabloids did not elaborate on the rift.

    I came across a gossipy article in Face Magazine about the list of artists that do not get along with Mr. Chan. Quite entertaining, whether the list was accurate or not. If I have time tomorrow, I will translate it. It’s been a busy week of entertainment news and a matter of deciding which are the items worth translating versus passing over.

    Although Amigo and Patrick kept in touch with Mr. Chan during the investigation, the issue becomes the extent of their involvement and aid to Mr. Chan, given their strong friendship in the past. People help out in different ways and no one was as outspoken as Wong Hei.

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  20. clamine says:

    Imo, I think that Wong Hei’s overly showy display of utter devotion to Mr. Chan was a bit overboard, from his holding an umbrella over the latter’s head to publicly declaring that he would sell his apartment if necessary to help Mr. Chan. Also, through his actions and speech, I think that WH was creating unnecessary news to feed the press, esp. with him publicly proclaiming Mr. Chan’s dire financial straits for all the world to hear. Face is very important to HK people and I’m sure Mr. Chan did not appreciate having his financial crisis as fodder for the press. Support comes in many ways, there’s Wong Hei’s public display of staunch loyalty, and then there are the more subtle and quiet supportive gestures and aids that were under the press radar. As a Christian myself, I also questioned if Mr. Chan really appreciated (or even consented to having) the Buddhist ceremony performed by the nun in his apartment.

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  21. CY says:

    Thanks Jayne for clearing that up. I have not really been following this case but it seems like their testimony was somewhat in favour of Mr. Chan or else he wouldn’t be allowed to return to work so quickly.

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  22. pandamao says:

    http://tvbnewsworld.blogspot.com/2010/11/tvbs-light-switching-ceremony-artists.html

    Great article on TVB parties and the artist involved.

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  23. jayzemine says:

    thank you so much for the link pandamao. It was definitely a very interesting article and I am sure there is lots of truth in it. I wonder what would happen to artist that are not affiliated with any party-what will be their fate?

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  24. larry says:

    TVB and Stephen Chan in 2011 will continued the downfall. TVB really need rebuild of management.

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  25. Kidd says:

    To people who read the article that pandamao’s post (nothing against pandamao’s person).

    Read that article as one person’s opinion and not facts. This article was also posted in asianfanatics and some readers have pointed out some wrong facts in the article.

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  26. CY says:

    What kind of wrong facts, could you please elaborate? I don’t follow much of TVB gossip so I don’t know what is the real deal.

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  27. Kidd says:

    @CY

    Check this thread (which is where the orignal translation is taken from). Read the comments for this thread. Especially check out Tamaya, cassapella, Jupi, Ngan Ho’s comments for the correction of facts.

    http://asianfanatics.net/forum/topic/737038-tvbs-light-switching-ceremony-artists-need-to-follow-the-right-leader-updated-analysis-of-tvbs-4-parties/

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  28. CY says:

    Oh okok, thanks so much for clearing that up, Kidd! To be honest it actually quite amusing to read about all these celebrity gossips, it’s reads like the plot out of a novel. Exciting and intriguing but mostly made up. I guess only time will tell what will happen next..

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  29. pandamao says:

    @Kidd –

    read the debate over the accuracy of the article to your link.

    i actually posted that article to highlight the different people running the show in TVB. although not everything were depicted accurately, there were a few speculations i felt on par.

    tommy’s section of the article seemed very accurate….

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  30. SDS says:

    Actually now I read the article it reminded me of the fact when I watched the Lighting Ceremony (etc.) I noticed Jessica Hsuan was not in the front role or even spoken of as one of the ‘frontline’ TVB actresses. This to me is actually damned interesting considering her presence in TVB since the now classic: The Edge of Righteousness (1993?). Actually as her first role, she really did quite well in this series.

    I suppose its better being in the center of the second row than flanking the first row since the picture can’t even capture those too far on the sides.

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