Around the second half last year, the relation between TBS and the popular idol group Arashi is awkward. Arashi is the most popular in Johnny's and special treatment was given to them from each TV station in the past several years. Suddenly, TBS appeared to keep a distance from Arashi. Other TV stations have taken notice of this as well. What has happened to Arashi?
As reported by Shukan Bunshun,
First, in the special program "Tuesday music" hosted by SMAP's Masahiro Nakai broadcast live on Christmas day last year, just right before the broadcast, there was a performance shift. Among the staff, it was said that at the beginning Arashi and V6 were scheduled to appear on the program alongside SMAP. However, about ten days before broadcast, their appearance was canceled at the last minute. Instead, they were replaced with Kis-My-Ft2 and Sexy Zone in a hurry. Furthermore, Arashi's namesake program on TBS, Himitsu no Arashi chan started in 2008 is due to close in March. Only Sakurai Sho will co-host a new information variety show on TBS coming in April.
Although Himitsu no Arashi chan has been stuck in a rut, the ratings have not been that low. Why stop a program with all Arashi members, leaving only one person, Sakurai, in a variety special? Exactly what is happening between Johnny and TBS. Discontinuation of the program as well as cancellation at the last minute, are the results of the succession race in Johnny's. Johnny Kitagawa, current President and founder, is 81 years old. The race for his successor is between two female executives. Vice-President Fujishima Julie Keiko is Johnny's niece, who raised Arashi to superstardom. Ms. Michi Iijima who brought SMAP from ashes to fame and herself has been struggling for the leadership of a family-run business for many years,. Their power struggle has come into play at TBS (TBS staffs).
In this tug of war, entertainment insiders have been thinking Julie has the upper hand being the blood relative. However, Johnny recently has made an unexpected remark. Johnny said he is appreciating very highly of Ms. Iijima's personal management skills. On the other hand, he told station managers, Julie is only good at selling and exposing Arashi to TV and CMs. Johnny did not make such a remark until now. Television station managers came to the conclusion that Johnny has endorsed Ms. Iijima as his successor. And that's how the last-minute cancellation of "Tuesday music" occurred. TBS manager got to know that Johnny is backing Ms. Iijima so he chose SMAP over Arashi. It was like a litmus test. To strenghthen their relationship with Ms. Iijima more, TBS took Arashi and V6 out of the "Tuesday music" show and put in place the two groups Iijima is also managing, Kis-my-Ft2 and Sexy Zone (another TBS staff). To compensate for Julie's side, they gave Sakurai Sho a new program as to not worsening their relationship with Johnny's Office.
What about the other TV stations? TV Asahi has little influence in the successor race as compared to NHK and other TV stations. But all TV stations' fundamental directions are the same as TBS even though FUJI TV and NTV still have a deeper relationship with Julie than TBS.
It is a pity to have the talents involved in a successor race since they're all in the same agency. They should all be united as one big family. It is worrisome to think of what will come when Johnny retires and his successor takes over.
Source: entameblog translated by 4miu_miu