TOKYO — The head of Fukuoka Broadcasting Corp. (FBS) said Wednesday he will step down from the broadcaster in the major southwestern Japanese city over a scandal in which the TV station bilked advertisers out of 99 million yen ($876,000) for commercials it did not put on the air.FBS president Kichinosuke Sada said he will ankle his post, taking responsibility for FBS not airing 1,662 commercials between October 1994 and August 1996 for which the company received payment from sponsors. Sada did not give a date for his departure, but did say he will resign once FBS has concluded an internal probe into the matter. He also said he is not directly responsible for the scandal. FBS, an affiliate of the Nippon Television Network (NTV), said it will pay back money put up by advertisers for the commercials that never made it onto the air. It also said since the scandal became public in mid-June, it has lost 349 contacts for advertising worth 540 million yen ($4.78 million). The company did not offer further comment on the matter. FBS did not air the commercials because it oversold advertising time and did not have space in its programming for the ads. The company has pointed the finger of blame at an unnamed former deputy director in charge of spot commercials, since forced into an early retirement. Japan’s broadcasting world was quick to ostracize the Fukuoka TV station. The National Assn. of Broadcasters in Japan said on June 21 it has suspended FBS’ membership in the group until March, making FBS the first TV station to be given the boot from the association of Japanese TV networks and stations.
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