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Broadcaster suspended from NAB

KTV producers falsified diet data

TOKYO — The National Assn. of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB) Thursday suspended Kansai Telecasting Corp. (KTV) from active membership.

The suspension comes after KTV producers were found to have falsified diet data presented on the Jan. 7 broadcast of its popular “Hakkutsu! aru aru daijiten II” (Encyclopedia of Living) variety show. The ensuing scandal has resulted in the firing of three producers and punishment for seven other KTV execs, including prexy Soichiro Chigusa.

The station has not only canceled the show, but also given up its Sunday primetime broadcasting slot to the Fuji TV web, of which it is an affiliate. As a result, KTV’s annual revenue is expected to fall by $25 million.

NAB officials said the suspension, which was unanimously approved by the board, means KTV will not be able to participate in org meetings and events, and its shows will not be eligible for NAB awards. The suspension is expected to last for six months. If further problems are uncovered, expulsion is also a possibility, according to NAB.

The suspension is expected to have a large impact on not only KTV’s standing in the Japanese broadcasting community, but its bottom line, as scandal-shy advertisers look elsewhere for  media platforms.

Chigusa, who was present at the board’s deliberations, apologized for “causing trouble” to the NAB and its members.

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