Toyoda named president of Fuji TV

Murakami will remain with company as adviser

TOKYO — Kou Toyoda has been named president of the Fuji TV web, taking over from Koichi Murakami, who has served as the web’s topper since 2001.

Murakami will remain with the company as an adviser. The Fuji board officially will approve the appointment on Friday.

After beginning at Fuji in 1971, Toyoda worked in the web’s general affairs and news departments before joining the sales department in 1992. He has served as executive managing director responsible for sales since 2001.

During Murakami’s six-year reign as prexy, Fuji strengthened its position as the leading pic producer among the Japanese webs, releasing such hits as “Bayside Shakedown 2,” “The Negotiator,” “The Suspect” and “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust.”

Murakami also steered the web through its tumultuous corporate tussle with Internet startup Livedoor. In May 2005 Fuji bought 143 million Livedoor shares for ¥44 billion ($367 million) as a part of a deal to end Livedoor’s hostile takeover attempt on a radio broadcaster belonging to the Fuji TV group.

When Livedoor prexy Takafumi Horie and other execs were arrested on charges of securities law violations in January 2006, the value of Livedoor shares plummeted. In March 2006 Fuji finally unloaded the shares to the prexy of media conglom Usen for $79.2 million, taking a $287.5 million loss. Last March Fuji announced that it was suing Livedoor for $287.5 million in damages.

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