'Naked News' Shuts Up Shop

      July 31, 2009 10:16

      Female anchors of Naked News Korea hold a press conference at the office of the broadcaster station in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul on Thursday. /Newsis

      The Korean version of the topless TV franchise "Naked News," which was launched on June 23, declared a halt of service on Thursday. "As of Thursday, we are temporarily stopping all services including online content. We send our deep apologies to customers subscribing to our service," an announcement on its website read.

      Naked News Korea said, "Due to the internal situation, it is impossible to provide steady news services. We arrived at the conclusion that continuing to provide services to customers would only cause them further inconvenience, so we decided to stop our service."

      Naked News Korea stopped recording shows last week and has been re-airing previously recorded programs since last Friday. It disconnected all calls to the customers' service center. The company reportedly also failed to pay staff, including anchors, their salary for July.

      The company's office in Yeoksam-dong in southern Seoul is shut up and the furniture has been moved out. The owner, John Chau, is rumored to have left the country, and the case is likely to develop into an international criminal case. Sources in the industry say management decided to pull out as the channel has just 30,000 paid subscribers.

      Naked News Korea claimed it was "searching for ways to minimize damage to paid subscribers" who subscribed for July or paid for three months or more after June, considering refunds or cancellation of order. "As soon as we come to a conclusion, we will make an announcement on the website," it said.

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