Asahi National Broadcasting Co.

Tokyo

Revenue: $1.8 billion

Profit: $50 million

Hit by a sharp 40% drop in net profits for the past financial year (ended March 31), Asahi National Broadcasting Co., has embarked on a major reshuffling of its management and programming.

Michisada Hirose, a TV industry veteran, took over as president and CEO in June, while some 300 managerial and production slots were rotated to mostly younger contenders.

Along with the overhaul, TV Asahi announced a companywide reform campaign; among the priorities is a recasting of the station’s corporate identity to attract younger viewers.

As with its main competitors, soccer’s World Cup and a well-performing Japanese team helped lift revenues for the second quarter, although only 16 of the total of 64 matches were terrestrially transmitted live by private broadcasters; 24 were exclusive to pubcaster NHK.

Since going public two years ago, TV Asahi’s shares have generally moved downward. Together with the sluggish economy, the high costs involved in preparing for next year’s launch of digital terrestrial broadcasting and high depreciation costs related to a posh new headquarters to be completed by the end of this year, observers are not too optimistic about the financial results of the reform plan.

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