Successful Comeback of Ken Watabe on Local Station, But Key Stations Still Unclear | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Successful Comeback of Ken Watabe on Local Station, But Key Stations Still Unclear

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Ken Watabe of “Anjash” made his return to TV after 18 months on February 15. He also showed off his partner Kazuya Kazushima for the first time in a while.

After the announcement of Anjash Ken Watabe’s return to TV, there have been various voices on the Internet. It is a fact that there are more voices of condemnation than those of approval or disapproval.

In the midst of all this, Chiba TV’s program “Monochrome Anjash,” in which he appeared, successfully completed its broadcast on February 15, and Watabe was able to return to work. But will he be able to take another step forward from here?

Chiba TV, which produces and broadcasts the program in which Watabe appeared, is a terrestrial TV station, but it is not a key station but a so-called “regional” station. While some local stations are affiliated with key stations, Chiba TV is an “independent station” that does not have a key station.

Needless to say, when Watabe’s side tried to push for his return to television, they were confronted with a wall of program sponsors.

There have always been people who call the TV station to complain when they have a scandalous celebrity on their show, but recently more and more people are calling the program sponsor directly to complain. In order to protect their brand image, they naturally don’t want celebrities to appear on their programs if they are likely to be criticized for the programs they provide.

Also, since accusations against program sponsors are spread on the Internet, major companies do not shake their heads so easily. Of course, Chiba TV’s “Monochrome Anjash,” in which Watabe will appear, also has a program sponsor. The fact that Watabe’s appearance on the program has been realized means that the sponsor has given the OK.

According to a director who works for an independent broadcasting station in a prefecture near Tokyo

According to a director who works at an independent broadcasting station near Tokyo, “In the case of local stations, the sales staff of the station often work proactively to contact sponsors directly, and advertising agencies rarely come in between like they do at key stations. Therefore, the relationship with the station tends to be rather close.

The sponsors include local companies, department stores, supermarkets, and individual stores, and the sponsor fees are not as high as those of major companies. But in return, they don’t interfere in the production of programs.

In addition to program producers and production staff, the distance between TV station presidents and management and sponsors is much closer than at key stations. Not only that, but the actors and sponsors are often close friends, especially if the program has a long broadcast period.

If they have been working together for a long time, the relationship between the representative of the sponsoring company and the program producer, talent, or production president will be close, and the sponsors will not be able to say no if the talent side bows down to them.

The talent side owes a debt of gratitude to the station for giving them their own show when it was not selling well, and the station owes a debt of gratitude to the talent for taking care of the show even after it became successful. And that’s where the reciprocal relationship of helping each other out in times of need comes in.

Many people in the industry say that his return to the local station was the right decision. However, it will be tough to see if this will lead to the next step and if he will be able to make his long-awaited return to the key stations. There was a report that said, “The key stations may make a decision based on the public reaction to the airing of ‘Monochrome Anjash.

However, I don’t think any TV station would allow Mr. Watabe to appear on a national TV program right now. The number of viewers for local programs is limited, so it’s hard to replace it with a national program and it’s hard to read the reaction of the viewers.

To put it bluntly, it’s not a good basis for judgment. There are times when Mr. Watabe’s name comes up in program planning meetings, but it is immediately rejected. I don’t think the sponsors will give the OK either, but right now they are too scared to even ask him.

There are many comedians who have had affairs or scandals involving women and were forced to temporarily suspend their activities, but they have successfully returned to work and have been active ever since.

Why is it so difficult for Watabe? “In his case, I think it’s because he’s gone too far. That’s why many women dislike him because they think he’s filthy. Also, he is a comedian, but his problem is that he has stopped being laughed at. If more people say, “He’s a jerk, but he’s funny and I can’t hate him, so I’ll forgive him,” then it’s all over. If we can get him on the show and tease him without hesitation, the public’s reaction will change,” says an entertainment agency executive who works with many comedians.

(An entertainment agency executive who works with a lot of comedians.) He says that going back to the basics of being a comedian and getting “laughed at” is the shortcut to returning to the key stations, but what will it take?

  • Interview and text Hiroyuki Sasaki (Entertainment Journalist)

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting on a number of scoops during his time with FRIDAY, and has been active in weekly magazines ever since. He is currently appearing on TV and radio as a commentator.

  • PHOTO Sota Shima

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