2012 New Year's Address by President Toshichika Ishihara

January 04, 2012

Happy New Year, everyone. Let me start by thanking all the staff who gave up their holidays for the year-end and New Year special programs and events. Both the "Record Awards" and "New Year Ekiden" did well. Although the overall audience rating was not as good as we had hoped they would be, we have lots of new ideas for this year.

Last year was a historic year, a year of change for many people around the world. Events that usually occur in a span of decades all happened in just one year. There was the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th, followed by the financial crisis in Europe, democratization in the Middle East, the flooding in Thailand, and the death of North Korea's Kim Jong-il at the end of the year.

The huge earthquake, especially the accident at Fukushima Nuclear Plant, raised the question of what prosperity and happiness truly mean, and provoked various debates. For us, it made us feel the weight of the responsibility that we have as a news organization. Everyone including the group companies joined efforts and immediately started the "Kizuna (connection) Project," reporting on the disaster and collecting relief donations. I would like to express my appreciation to all of you… thank you. "The Giant Earthquake on 3/11: The Reporters' Gaze" won the best documentary award at the Asian Television Awards last year. I believe that everyone's tireless efforts helped to win this award.

Furthermore, programs and events commemorating TBS's 60th anniversary such as "JIN-Final," "Antarctica," "The World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea," and "Venice Exhibition" made a great contribution in raising the TBS brand. Thanks to your efforts, the audience rating for the morning and early afternoon programs improved, the ratings across all time slots are making progress, the ratings for the golden and prime time slots have secured double digits, and TBS Radio has maintained the top ranking for 10 years. Thus, we now have a solid foundation to take a further leap forward.

Last year was a historic year for us, marking TBS's 60th Anniversary. We also became a holdings company, and various pending operational issues were also solved. Thanks to everyone's cooperation, the Rakuten issue that we spent so much energy and funds on has finally been settled after six years. We turned BS-TBS into a consolidated subsidiary, signed a new agreement with CBS (U.S.A.), and handed over Yokohama BayStars to DeNA. Furthermore, we formed a business alliance with Nippon Keizai Shimbun and Media Corp in Singapore. Now that we have settled these various issues, we can now move on towards the future and devote ourselves to our main broadcasting business. This year needs to be a year of progress.

The objective of the agreement that we signed last December with Nippon Keizai Shimbun involves making new content for the rapidly market dominant smart phones, by combining the newspaper company's strength in economic and market information and TBS's visual content and entertainment production skills. We are currently in the process of planning and developing this content with NTT Docomo.

The other objective is to develop an advertising business by creating programs for other Asian countries in their respective languages, streaming these programs on platforms such as Ustream or broadcasting them on television. TBS and Nippon Keizai Shimbun will play the central role in both projects and obtain the cooperation of companies such as Mainichi Shimbun, Television Tokyo, NTT Docomo, and Mitsui Bussan. Until now, we had been proactively developing new business and privately achieving results, but by working together with influential companies, I believe that we will be able to achieve even more. Content is undoubtedly the main source of income. By developing new businesses, we will be able to expand the multifaceted source of revenue and strengthen our content, which is our primary goal. I hope that everyone including those in our group companies will actively take part and put their ideas into these projects.

As you all know, the broadcasting industry has entered the era of "reform and competition." We cannot continue to do things the way we have. Although it is important to maintain TBS's basic philosophy as a broadcaster, we must also make changes where they are needed. I would like to tell all of you not to be afraid of changes but to enjoy them. When I say "enjoy the changes," this involves being inspired to make good quality content and having the passion to take on new challenges, which are the founding spirit of TBS.

This year is the year of the dragon. It is said that during the year of the dragon, all things "change and grow." With the momentum of a rising dragon, let's all work together to make this year, a year of advancement and success.