Foreign ADs Are Valued “The Amazing Reality of TV Station Reform” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Foreign ADs Are Valued “The Amazing Reality of TV Station Reform”

The staff saw it! Weekly TV Insider's View

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
NTV, the “industry leader” that has won the triple crown of viewer ratings for 11 consecutive years. Just as NTV pioneered the adoption of core viewership ratings, it has also taken a unique approach to AD reform.

Reports that NTV has abolished the term “AD,” which refers to assistant directors, have caused a stir.

The company is changing the name to YD (Young Director) in order to get rid of the negative image of “a bottom runner, so busy that he/she doesn’t have time to sleep, and does a mountain of chores. …… The ADs disapprove of calling me “Young” because it’s tacky (laughs). It has been pointed out to us extensively, but it is meaningless if the job description and treatment do not change. I think the situation will become a bit of a moot point, and eventually they will go back to being ‘ADs.

The treatment of ADs themselves has improved considerably under the influence of reforms in the way they work.

Bosses who yell at ADs because it constitutes power harassment are no longer in the job, and employee ADs are generally not required to work overtime at any station. The number of people who are working in the industry is increasing. Even so, there is no end to the number of young ADs who quit, perhaps because the TV industry is not a so-called “9:00 to 17:00″ world and they feel it is too hard. In order to fill their human resource needs, more and more production companies are hiring foreign ADs these days. Since people who have left their home countries because they admire Japanese animation and entertainment are applying for these positions, they are often more motivated and superior to Japanese ADs,” says a producer at a key station.

There are other reasons why foreign ADs are valued besides their perseverance. The production company director mentioned above continues.

They are also active as interpreters. Nowadays, production costs are being cut at all stations, so foreign ADs are a valuable asset in place of interpreters. Before Corona, we often interviewed foreigners for inbound programs, so there were many opportunities for them to play an active role.

In order to secure ADs, TV stations offer various kinds of candy.

TV Asahi started a late-night variety program called “Barabara Daisakusen” in 2008, and young directors are assigned to the program. The main purpose of this program is to train staff members, but it also aims to motivate new employees by saying, ‘If you work hard as an AD for a few years, you may be entrusted with a program. This is probably the same reason why TV Tokyo holds the “TV Tokyo Young Video Grand Prix,” a competition for the production of special programs,” says a broadcaster.

TV stations are also focusing on official YouTube and streaming of missed episodes with an eye to distribution viewing. This is why the staff is valued so highly. A producer mentioned above said.

Some ADs have personal accounts that have the ability to spread the word. They know how to create buzz on the Internet better than veteran staff.

However, the recent trend toward more generous treatment of ADs has “more disadvantages than advantages,” the director mentioned above laughs.

The ADs are not allowed to work overtime, so the outside staff, directors, and other supervisors are staying up all night. We can’t give them the strict guidance we used to, so the number of ordinary mistakes has increased. I was once stunned to find myself in a cheap bar with no private room when I was asked to arrange a dinner party for a meeting to discuss a program before the release of information. There are highly motivated ADs who are willing to work overtime to learn the field, but since no exceptions are allowed, the ADs themselves and others are often bewildered by the current rules.

Will the development of “boxed-in ADs” be a good thing or a bad thing for the TV industry?

From the March 18, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Jiji Press

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles