Jeongdo Hong is the President and CEO of JoongAng Media Network (JMnet), the largest media group in South Korea with 23 subsidiary companies and 24 brands including newspapers, TV channels, magazines, a multiplex cinema chain, and leisure resorts. Mr. Hong is also the President and CEO of JTBC, the fastest growing general programming channel in Korea since he founded it in December 2011. He is concurrently the President and CEO of the JoongAng Ilbo, a major national newspaper in Korea.
Since Mr. Hong joined the JoongAng media group in 2005 as a member of the Strategic Planning Office, he has developed overall corporate strategies for the group. He played a crucial role in one of JMnet’s most important projects, which also marked a key chapter in Korea’s recent media history. It was the regaining of broadcasting rights for TBC (Tongyang Broadcasting Company), Korea’s most popular channel in the 1960s and 70s, which was confiscated from the JoongAng media group by a military government in 1980. After years of work and preparation, the nationwide TV channel JTBC was finally launched in December 2011.
JTBC has been growing rapidly since its launch. The channel, which offers news, documentaries, dramas and a variety of entertainment programs, has been named in a viewer survey as the most balanced and informative channel for two consecutive years. It is setting new standards for dramas and entertainment programs. Popular JTBC programs such as “Non-Summit” and “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator” are broadcast around the world through the sale of broadcast rights to overseas networks.
Mr. Hong has also led a sub-branding strategy to strengthen JTBC’s brand, creating synergies as a result. In addition to JTBC, the flagship general programming channel, there is also JTBC2, the entertainment channel formerly known as QTV, and JTBC3 Fox Sports, a partnership with Fox International Channels Asia. J Golf was relaunched as JTBC Golf in 2015.
Another highlight of Mr. Hong’s work was in 2009, when he led the JoongAng Ilbo’s ambitious project to switch the paper’s printing format to Berliner, the first such innovative change in all of Asia. In 2011, Mr. Hong headed the successful merger and acquisition of two major movie theater franchises, Megabox and Cinus. The M&A strengthened JMnet’s position in the entertainment industry.
Mr. Hong is a member of the WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) Asia Pacific Committee. He was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2010. Mr. Hong studied history at Yonsei University in Seoul before earning his BA in Economics from Wesleyan University and his MBA from Stanford University.