China Radio International Host Yan Yinan Dead In Apparent Suicide [UPDATE]

Yan Yinan

Yan Yinan, co-host of China Radio International’s daily program China Drive, died in an apparent suicide on Friday when she jumped off her apartment building, sources say. Some of her colleagues were seen crying inside the CRI office on Friday.

A source said CRI management has emailed staffers asking them to keep news of Yan’s death off social media out of respect for her family, and that there is an internal “ongoing discussion” about how to proceed.

Yesterday, however, former CRI employee Tom McGregor broke the story in Dallas Blog, though with factual inaccuracies. His claim that Yan jumped off the “CRI building on Friday afternoon” has been disputed by multiple sources at CRI.

“Yinan was a friend, a mentor at CRI, a consummate professional on air and off the air who impacted her colleagues, her workplace, her friends, and her fans every day that they knew her,” said one of her colleagues, who asked to remain unnamed. “This is a loss for all of them.”

A private memorial is planned at the CRI office this Thursday.

Yan’s China Drive co-host, Mark Griffiths, politely declined to comment when reached by phone. We have reached out to CRI management via email.

(Image CRI)

UPDATE, 8:58 pm: CRI has emailed its staff the following official statement:

China Radio International is sad to announce the tragic passing of Yan Yinan after a struggle with illness. She will be missed as a colleague and friend. Out of respect for her privacy and the wishes of her family, we hope everyone can join us in giving them the ability to grieve in private.

    22 Responses to “China Radio International Host Yan Yinan Dead In Apparent Suicide [UPDATE]”

      • mandy

        Tom McGregor is a miserably insensitive human being for spilling that on his blog. He was fired from CRI for posting on a site called niggermania and voicing his opinions against his Korean ex-wife. Tom paulken ( his real name) was no friend of Yinan’s and his arrogance to think he can give his opinion of the situation is sickening. That poor woman’s family deserves the privacy they deserve. Please feel free to voice your opinion to him

        • BubbaBilbo


          Tom was not fired at CRI; his contract wasn’t renewed. Posting his personal email address is an immature action on your behalf. He broke a story that CRI did want to get out, and for that I thank him. Although there were a few errors in his original story, most people, including CRI employees, did not know the facts surrounding Yinan’s death as CRI management was unwilling to reveal anything.

          • mandy

            Using a fake name to post sensitive information about a previous colleague is insensitive and disgusting. CRI was not covering it up, they were doing what any organization would do out of respect for the family. If Tom Pauken is going to write things about other people, he should have the nerve to use his real name. Yinan was a wonderful person and her family deserves privacy during this time without him posting inaccuracies on his Texas racist, right-wing, bigoted blog. Tom has no respect for her, her Chinese colleagues, or women in general.

            • Suckface

              Your actions here make no sense based your comment, “Using a fake name to post sensitive information about a previous colleague is insensitive and disgusting.” Isn’t that what you’ve just done to the journalist who broke the story? You posted his personal email address. Practice what you preach, retard.

    1. Silenceaaaaa

      shame on you guys! as human being, can you just pay due respect to the deceased by not releasing her picture? you even called her collegue for quotes? do you know what is journalism ethics? What a shame!!

    2. Slavesucker

      What I want to know is why all the cover up at CRI? Why post a note in English at her so-called “memorial” instructing foreign staff to not post anything on social media? Why does CRI management want to keep this a secret? Everybody who works in media in Beijing knows what a lousy place CRI is to work at. Chinese women just don’t up and commit suicide. In fact, Chinese women have a very low rate of suicide. Something is extremely afoul here and I hope the truth, especially for her sake, surfaces.

      • Gay Chevara

        Yeah something dodgy. Whenever China/Chinese call for a cover up or don’t openly talk about something it’s because something is amiss.

    3. Captainchimp

      Ethics? Are you insane? Have you forgotten what state-run media is? Her photo and bio are still on the CRI website. Explain that genius! I hope this incident serves as an inspiration for those high up on the state-run food chain to clean house at CRI. Too many people in charge over there along with a few silly foreigners masquerading as journos need to be cast out onto the street.

    4. Captainchimp

      When Xu Huaiqian committed suicide last year nobody tried to cover that up. It was all over the news right after it happened. Was that unethical? Hiding the truth is unethical, but I guess explaining that to a Chinese journalist would be like asking a monkey to perform brain surgery. Her Chinese colleagues played along with management’s game, because those freaks are shaking in their boots.

    5. J. Nuttall

      I worked one year with Yinnan. She was a soft-spoken, bright and lovely person who will be missed by those who knew her. I understand why CRI has been downplaying this, it’s a difficult situation to handle and they are slow movers to begin with.

      May she rest in peace.

    6. bag-o-dicks

      “management has emailed staffers asking them to keep news of Yan’s death off social media out of respect for her family”

      It’s entirely possible that’s true. It’s not pleasant for the family to have everyone talking about how one of your loved ones killed themselves.

      A classmate of mine fell of a cliff in a suspected suicide. The family fought hard for the media to paint a picture of a young man who had no reason to kill himself.


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