Female Announcers’ True Popularity Revealed by Potential Viewer Ratings | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Female Announcers’ True Popularity Revealed by Potential Viewer Ratings

We obtained top-secret data on our own! The absolute ace of the top spots! The top female announcers from each station and the big-name freelance announcers are all competing for the top spot!

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Amidst the ongoing era of fierce competition among talented female announcers, surviving as an announcer without achieving good ratings on programs is difficult. Each television station, troubled over who to select, uses “potential viewer ratings” as a criterion for selection.

“Potential viewer ratings are calculated based on past viewer rating data and surveys of viewers, estimating the numbers expected when talents appear on programs. Even in the case of female announcers, the data generated by each announcer is quantified. When hiring freelance announcers, these ratings are also used as a reference for calculating fees,” explained a senior advertising agency official.

This time, FRIDAY obtained exclusive data on potential viewer ratings created by a major television station. Based on numbers targeting core demographics (males and females aged 13-49) surveyed from May ’23 to May ’24, we created a ranking of 30 top freelance announcers from each station’s aces to big names. Let’s reveal the true popularity of these popular female announcers.

“1st Place: Miura Asami (37), Nippon TV” The undisputed top female announcer in Japan, Miura Asami reigns supreme at the number one spot in the rankings. This result satisfies both television industry insiders and experts alike.

Claiming the top spot with a lead of approximately one point over second place is Miura Asami (37) from Nippon TV.

“With her now acquiring fame that extends beyond the confines of a station announcer, she’s undoubtedly poised to take the top spot. Whether it’s hosting variety shows, narrating, or delivering news scripts, she excels in every role. In a personnel announcement dated June 1st, she was unusually promoted three ranks to Chief Specialist. Her annual income is rumored to be around 30 million yen, reflecting upper management’s desire to retain her as she remains highly sought after.” (Source: Nippon TV insider)

Challenging that absolute queen at second place is Nippon TV’s Iwata Erina (28). Commentator on female announcers, Maruyama Daijiro, analyzes.

“Iwata excels in her role as an assistant. On ‘Sekai Marumie! Terebi Tokusôbu’ (Nippon TV), she supports veteran figures like Beat Takeshi and George Tokoro, and on ‘Shuichi’ (Nippon TV), she adeptly assists Hideyuki Nakayama. Her ability to contribute to high viewer ratings on programs featuring senior figures has likely propelled her to second place.”

Following closely behind the top two from the third position is TBS’s ace announcer, Tamura Mako (28).

“She’s helped elevate ‘Love It!’ on TBS, once considered short-lived, to its current status alongside Akira Kawashima of ‘Kirin.’ As an MC for prime-time programs that garner strong ratings, it’s only natural for her ranking to be high. In recent years, TBS has lamented the shortage of announcer talent, making Tamura an indispensable presence.” (Key station programming executive)

Regarding Fuji TV’s Inoue Seika (29), who ranked fourth following Tamura, TBS’s ace announcer, commentator Maruyama commented, “She’s finally gaining recognition.

“In 2021, she was selected as the eighth main caster of ‘Mezamashi TV’ (Fuji TV), clearly expected as Fuji’s ace for a long time. However, she was overshadowed by peers like Akiko Kuji (29) of the same generation, who was in her prime with photo books published, and Ayaka Hironaka (33) of TV Asahi, who was active. However, she began to gain recognition after taking charge of ‘Honmadekka!? TV’ (Fuji TV), demonstrating a strong, straightforward character and high adaptability when co-starring with prominent figures, resonating with viewers.”

“3rd Place: Tamura Mako (28), TBS” TBS’s flagship announcer showed great performance at third place. She aims for further advancement with skills comparable to comedians honed on ‘Love It!’.
“4th Place: Inoue Seika (29), Fuji TV” The late-blooming ace achieved nearly 8% potential viewer ratings. Can she reclaim the glory of Fuji, once known as the empire of female announcers?
“10th Place: Hironaka Ayaka (33), TV Asahi” Hironaka, a successful example of a talent announcer, secured 10th place despite returning from maternity leave. The top ranks seem solid next time.

Struggling Veteran Announcers

While each network’s top announcers achieve high ratings, senior anchors at stations and veteran freelance announcers face challenges. TV Tokyo’s Mariko Oe (45) ranked 23rd with 2.5%, and TV Asahi’s Yoko Oeshita (54) ranked 26th with 1.6%.

“Both are undoubtedly faces of their networks. However, amidst the recent rise of female announcers with strong entertainment appeal, these sincere and orthodox anchors find it difficult to garner support. Particularly among core viewers, there’s a tendency to gravitate towards younger and fresher announcers. Even though veterans like them have honed their skills over their careers, their real-time evaluation from viewers reflects in their ratings like this.” (Production company producer)

Additionally, veteran freelance announcers Ayaka Ogawa (39) and Aya Takashima (45) both sunk to 24th place and lower.

“Takashima, highly acclaimed in Fuji TV history, currently only holds regular spots on ‘Saturday Station’ (TV Asahi) and ‘World Extreme Mystery’ (TBS). Potential viewer ratings are significantly affected by exposure, inevitably resulting in lower numbers.
Ogawa has garnered attention with sharp comments on issues like Johnny’s sexual misconduct and the LDP’s hidden funds, prompting reactions after each broadcast. However, compared to the charming elements possessed by recently successful female announcers, she seems a bit lacking, giving an impression of trying too hard. Many viewers seek comfort from female announcers, making it difficult for her numbers to rise.” (Previously mentioned key station insider)

Amidst the struggles faced by many veteran announcers, showing resilience at 5th place is freelance announcer Yumiko Udo (55).

“She achieved high ratings likely due to overlapping with the period when she was handling ‘News Zero’ (NTV). Udo combines the coolness like Ogawa with an approachable charm that appeals to everyone. The impression that the screen brightens up when she appears is due to her unique character,” commented Maruyama as previously mentioned.

In the middle of the rankings, capable mid-career announcers supporting each station are lined up. Eto Ai (38), who has already secured a managerial position at TBS, ranked 8th.

“Handling news and information programs while also hosting the live music program ‘CDTV Live! Live!’ (TBS) demonstrates her prowess. She’s not one to draw attention unnecessarily but cuts through where needed, even if it disrupts the flow, for the sake of hosting. She effectively translates skills honed in news programs into variety, which is her strength,” noted a music program production staff member.

After returning from maternity leave in April this year, announcer Ayaka Hironaka is expected to make a comeback.

“The survey period coincided with her maternity leave, which likely impacted her ratings. Despite being absent for over six months, ranking 10th shows Hironaka’s resilience and potential,” remarked a TV Asahi staff member.

“24th Place: Aya Takashima (45), Freelance” Former queen of Fuji TV, she struggled this time around. However, with a family to care for, her current pace might be just right.
“5th Place: Yumiko Udo (55), Freelance” The lone veteran to crack the top five in the rankings. Even after stepping down from ‘News Zero,’ she has solidified her position as a reigning empress.
“8th Place: Ai Eto (38), TBS” Ranked as TBS’s second in command, she’s energetically chasing behind her junior, Tamura, who’s currently on a winning streak.

Who is NHK’s top announcer?

NHK’s dual pillars, Maho Kuwako (37) and Mayuko Wakuda (35), faced unexpectedly stagnant results, ranking 12th and 14th.

“Once known for her controversial persona at NHK, Kuwako has recently been seen focusing more on her work. In her role on ‘Close-Up Gendai’ (NHK), she demonstrates a thorough study of the topics she covers and maintains a strictly neutral stance in presenting the news. Her top position at NHK this time unequivocally shows she is their current ace.
Wakuda, currently on maternity leave, didn’t see growth in ratings. However, her absence on ‘News 7’ (NHK) has ironically highlighted her presence. Upon her return to the field, she is expected to significantly improve her ranking,” commented columnist Tamami Hiyama.

In the realm of potential viewer ratings data, both young and veteran announcers are on equal footing. Female announcers will continue to face intense competition in viewer ratings.

“12th Place: Right – Maho Kuwako (37), NHK / 14th Place: Left – Mayuko Wakuda (35), NHK” Kuwako settles for 12th place this time, aiming to maintain numbers as a mainstream caster. Wakuda, a talented figure who has served in NHK’s flagship programs, falls short in the rankings.

From the June 21, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Ichiro Takatsuka (Mizuto) Toshihiro Nakaikawa (Takashima) Yuri Adachi (Inoue) Keisuke Nishi (Kuwako, Wakuda) Keitaro Nakagawa (Hironaka) Ippei Hara (Ariko)

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