ESPN Star Sports names Wenjia Fang MD

Joins broadcaster from handset maker Nokia

BEIJING -- Asia’s No. 1 sports broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports, on Thursday appointed Wenjia Fang as managing director for China.

Based in Beijing, Fang will oversee the strategic direction and growth of ESS operations in China and manage the company's in-country affiliate relations.

A joint venture between The Walt Disney Co and News Corp, ESS transmits two channels, ESPN and STAR Sports, across China, from offices in Beijing and Shanghai, providing a largely young, educated and sports-hungry viewer base with TV sports coverage supplemented online.

Fang's appointment comes on the heels of News Corp's sale on Monday of a controlling stake in other  Chinese-language channel assets into a joint venture with a state-backed media fund run by the Shanghai Media Group and now headed by Jack Gao, CEO of Star China.

Fang comes to ESS from handset maker Nokia, where for seven years she was a part of the China market management team. Previously, she helped McKinsey bring international companies into China and assisted Chinese companies develop expansion strategies.
"Fang brings a wealth of experience and business insights to the role and I am confident she will do well as our new head of China, a market with many fast-growing opportunities,” said Manu Sawhney, ESS' Singapore-based managing director, to whom Fang will report.