Murdoch stands down from Star TV

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HONG KONG -- News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has relinquished his role as the head of Star TV, his Asian satellite TV service, to make way for Chinese-born Gareth Chang.

The appointment is seen as a strategic move to gain News Corp. greater access to the Chinese market - something with which Mr. Murdoch has struggled since acquiring Star TV in 1993.

Mr. Chang, 55, who was raised in Hong Kong and emigrated to the U.S. in 1959, was previously corporate senior VP, marketing, of Hughes Electronics Corp. and president of Hughes Electronics International, as well as chairman and CEO of DirecTV Japan and president of DirecTV International.

He is credited with successfully launching the DirecTV digital satellite TV platform in Japan and with forging "many groundbreaking commercial partnerships in China and elsewhere in the Asian region," according to News Corp.

At Star TV, Mr. Chang is executive chairman and has a place on the News Corp. board and its executive committee, with responsibility for News Corp. activities in Asia. He will relocate from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Gary Davey will retain his position as CEO of Star TV.

Mr. Murdoch says he is "pleased to be standing down as chairman" of Star TV to make way for Mr. Chang, whom he describes as "a well respected Chinese-American business executive who has successfully demonstrated his ability to work with a wide range of technologies and industries globally, especially in Asia.''

Mr. Chang is also on the board of Apple Computer Inc. and the advisory board of Nike Inc.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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