Published on January 25, 2008
Thai Public Broadcasting Service will make its debut on February 1 but news broadcasts will not start until February 15, with 70-80 per cent produced by TITV's news crew.
"We can't air news on February 1 as the news programming block was just completed on Wednesday. To form a news team in a week is too a short time," Apichart Thongyoo, spokesman for TPBS' interim policy board, said yesterday.
On February 1, when Thai PBS is scheduled to air its own programmes after taking over from TITV, only TPBS-produced documentaries and children's programmes commissioned by the Public Relations Department would be shown from 6am until midnight.
On February 15, airtime would be increased from 5am to midnight with five to six hours of news against two hours proposed under the previous programming block. On that day, TPBS programming would be 60-70 per cent complete, Apichart said.
As news airtime has been increased, a larger news desk would be needed from February 1 to April 30. While declining to specify how big, he said it could cover 70-80 per cent of TITV's news staff.
TPBS salaries would reportedly reflect payments made at the Bank of Thailand and MCOT, created under a special law. However, with extra allowances for experience, TITV employees could earn more when they work for TPBS.
Somchai Sawangkarn, a member of the National Legislative Assembly, urged the PM's Office to quickly get the 15-member committee to select nine members for the permanent supervisory board.
"The Public TV Act came into force 10 days ago, but the office has not yet proceeded with forming the panel. It should start now or on February 1 at the latest," he said.
Under the law, the permanent board must be appointed within 180 days of enforcement of the law.
By Wednesday, TPBS had received 3,322 job applications and the results would be known by April 16 so that the new recruits could start on May 1.