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ABU recognises the contribution of the outgoing MD and welcomes new head of Thai PBS

ABU Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi thanked Mr Thepchai Yong for his invaluable contribution to public service broadcasting and his fruitful partnership with the ABU as he welcomed the appointment of Somchai Suwanban as Managing Director of Thailand’s national public broadcaster, Thai PBS. 

“Mr Thepchai Yong did an excellent job in setting up and promoting public service broadcasting in Thailand and our region,” Dr Mottaghi said. “As Thai PBS’s first Managing Director, he oversaw the broadcaster’s move into its impressive new multimedia HQ facility complete with its own state of the art training centre and introduced a variety of new initiatives and partnerships in the region. He also very successfully hosted the Asia Media Summit last May.”

Dr Mottaghi says the new Managing Director Mr Suwanban is one of the region’s experienced journalists and his appointment at Thai PBS will strengthen broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific.

“After almost 40 years in print and broadcasting both in Thailand and overseas, Mr Somchai Suwanban brings a wealth of experience to Thai PBS,” Dr Mottaghi said. “I am confident that he will continue the good work started by his predecessor Tepchai Yong who was a strong supporter of the ABU and an asset to the region’s media,” he added.

Mr Somchai Suwanban has served on the Thai PBS Board of Governors since 2008 and stepped down to apply for the role of Managing Director.

Mr Suwanban graduated in economics from Thammasat University and at the start of his career he worked for several of Thailand’s leading publications including The Nation and Bangkok Post and co-founded Thailand Business Journal, the country’s first business newspaper.  In 1981 he began working as a news anchor with the BBC in London, and was promoted to Thai division head in 1992. He later headed the Vietnam and Myanmar division before becoming Southeast Asia regional editor until he retired from the BBC in 2006.

Mr Somchai Suwanban will officially take over as Managing Director on 10 October 2012 from Thepchai Yong whose term expires then.