TOKYO –  Currently ranked as the top commercial TV broadcaster in Japan, and in honour of the company’s 65th Anniversary, Nippon Television Network Corporation has announced two new key promotions.


Mr. Kenichi Hirose, Board Director and Operating Officer, has been appointed to oversee the International Business Development (IBD) division for Nippon TV.


Hirose, who previously served as President of the Finance Division, replaces Mr. Yoshio Nakayama who has now become President of BS Nippon TV, a digital broadcast satellite broadcaster.  Hirose will report to Mr. Yoshio Okubo, President and Chief Executive Operating Officer of Nippon TV.


Additionally, Mr. Atsushi Sogo has been appointed President of IBD replacing Mr. Atsushi Hatayama who is now Board Director of Television Iwate. Sogo, who will now report to Hirose, previously held the position of Executive Vice President, IBD.


“IBD has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, most remarkable being drama sales. As our program sales to China and other countries have increased, and as the Turkish remakes of our very own Mother and Woman have become incredible hits, I truly feel that Nippon TV is steadily establishing itself as the go-to production powerhouse for top-notch Japanese content. I am honoured to take the reins of IBD at a time when our momentum and motivation continues to build,” commented Sogo.


“While sales of our anime and entertainment show formats, most prominent being Dragons’ Den in the UK and Shark Tank in the US remain strong, our plan is to proactively seek new opportunities to deliver our high-quality content to more countries around the world.  We at Nippon TV are ready and willing to share the production expertise that have made us the ratings champion in Japan for four years running and welcome your interest in becoming our business partner,” he added.


Kenichi Hirose joined the Production Division of Nippon TV in 1982. For eight years, Hirose directed and produced nationally-acclaimed music, entertainment, and showbiz-oriented shows. In 1990, he was assigned to the Business Development Division where for five years he produced music-related events, notably the Japan tours of the Rolling Stones in 1990 and Michael Jackson in 1992. Hirose’s next stint was in the Sales Division, where his team led Nippon TV to earn the highest advertising revenue in the Japanese broadcasting industry in fiscal year 2000, a first for the company.


As President of the Programming Division, Hirose led Nippon TV to its Triple Crown in 2014, a title given to the broadcaster who wins the highest viewer ratings in all three-time categories for the entire year. This Hirose-driven feat continues to this day, as the company has topped the ratings charts for four consecutive years. In 2016, Hirose became a Board Director and Operating Officer, as well as President of the Finance Division, a capacity in which he spearheaded the financial integration of several high-profile M&As.


Atsushi Sogo began his career at the Programming Division of Nippon TV in 1985 and then transferred to the News Division to become a reporter for international news. He became a correspondent for the London Bureau in 1992 and covered UK stories such as the Northern Ireland Conflict and the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as global headlines like Russia after the fall of the socialist regime and the Middle East Peace Talks.


Upon returning to Japan, Sogo was assigned to the Business Development Division where he helped produce the Japan concert of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, several Japan exhibitions of master painters such as Van Gogh and created sales and program-related goods for merchandise. Sogo led a team that established an internal control structure for enhanced corporate governance.


In 2012, he was promoted to Managing Director for Rights & Contracts and represented Nippon TV as a committee member of the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association. Sogo moved to Taipei in 2014 to become Vice President of CNplus Production, Inc., a joint venture by Nippon TV and Taiwan’s CTI. Subsequent to his return to Japan in June 2017, he became Executive Vice President of International Business Development and after only a year is stepping up to President of the same division.