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Media / Talk of the trade: Star diplomat

THE EMOLLIENT Australian Gary Davey, deputy managing director of BSkyB, has been dispatched to Hong Kong by Rupert Murdoch to sort out Star TV, the pan-Asian broadcaster he bought last year. Hong Kong experts say the Star service is potentially as important as satellite television proved to be in Eastern Europe: information-starved families and villages are saving to buy pooled satellite dishes. Star needs a diplomat at its helm: it is in a legal dispute with the BBC over its contract to broadcast World Service Television throughout Asia, while Murdoch is apparently viewed with deep suspicion by the Chinese government. Davey helped to bed BSkyB down after the merger with British Satellite Broadcasting and then to switch to a multi- channel subscription service. Murdoch's aim is to expand Sky News from a UK channel into an international service: John O'Loan, who set up Sky News, is working on the project.