37. Fujisankei Communications Group / Fuji Media Holdings, Inc. / Sankei Shimbun
Revenues 2019/20: JPY 669.230 billion (€ 6.090 billion)
Fuji Media Holdings, Inc. was founded on October the 1st 2008 and includes the business divisions of the former Fuji Television network (such as the Fuji TV station or the Sankei Shinbun newspaper). The television station enjoys a high degree of popularity in Japan and registers the highest possible ratings. The new headquarters of the station are famous for its conspicuous architecture.
2-4-8 Daiba, Minato-ku
Tokyo 137-8088, Japan
Phone: 0081-3- 5500-8888
Branches: Television, film, newspapers, book publishing, radio, recorded music
Legal form: Public Company
Financial year: 04/01 – 03/31
Founding year: 1957
Executives and Directors
- Yuichi Kawano, Executive Managing Director
- Kenji Nishibuchi, Executive Managing Director
- Takashi Ishihara, Executive Managing Director
- Noriyuki Kawashima, Executive Managing Director
- Ryunosuke Endo, Executive Vice President
- Osamu Kanemitsu, Executive Vice President
- Yasumasa Nakata, Executive Vice President
- Ichiro Kishimoto, Executive Vice President
- Takehiro Kiyohara, Executive Managing Director
- Yoshishige Shimatani, Executive Managing Director
- Akihiro Miki, Executive Managing Director
- Taiza Ishiguro, Executive Managing Director
- Masafumi Yokota, Executive Managing Director
- Kazuo Terasaki, Executive Managing Director
- Toru Ota, Senior Executive Managing Director
- Takashi Wagai, Senior Executive Managing Director
- Atsushi Yokoyama, Senior Executive Managing Director
- Kazutoshi Matsumura, Senior Executive Managing Director
- Tsuyoshi Habara, Senior Executive Managing Director
- Kiyoshi Onoe, Audit & Supervisory Board Member
- Hiroshi Seta, Audit & Supervisory Board Member
- Yuzaburo Mogi, Audit & Supervisory Board Member
- Nobuya Minami, Audit & Supervisory Board Member
- Takayasu Okushima, Audit & Supervisory Board Member
“Fuji Television“ was founded in 1957 as an public limited company (Japanese: Kabushiki Kaisha, KK for short) in Tokyo. The founder was Shigeo Mizuno, while Nobutaka Shikanai became the managing director, who already held the same position before, albeit at a different company - the private radio broadcaster 'Nippon Hoso KK' where he made it as far as becoming the president. Yet, due to the fact that the private broadcaster, which was financed by the industry, did not manage to drag itself out of the red numbers, Shikanai had to make room for Mizuno, who was hired due to his reputation as a renovator. The two men would eventually work together at 'Fuji TV'. And quite a successful collaboration it turned out to be: In 1964, the older Mizuno handed the leadership of the successfully established television company down to Skikanai. A similar change of guard in the favour of Shikanai happened at the Sankei Shinbun newspaper in 1968, the leadership of which Mizuno took over from the founder of the newspaper himself, Hisakichi Maeda, in 1958. Maeda was the oldest of the pioneers in the 'Fuji-Sankei' – group, a result of an informal agreement between „Fuji TV“, „Sankei Shinbun“, „Nippon Hoso“ and „Bunka Hoso“ ( another private radio broadcaster) in 1967, vanguard of the present 'Fujisankei Communications Group '(FCG). Shikanai also became the head of this group, which was organised like a conference group in 1974. As a result of the de-concentration policy of the American occupation forces post-1945, the founding and formation of companies had been prohibited and only became legal again (albeit with specific restrictions) when the cartel law was changed in 1997.
The Sankei Shinbun suffered from a dramatic decrease in subscriber numbers of 14,7 % in the first half-year of 2009. At the same time, the Sankei Shinbun explored new pathways in order to win over younger readerships and audiences for its products. For example, the connection of Sankei with Microsoft Japan that resulted in the MSN Sankei News gateway (in competition with Yahoo! News) and the free access to newspaper content on the iPhone.
The 'Fuji TV' television station began broadcasting in March 1959. Initially a network of four regional television channels, the network was gradually increased to 28 stations, all of which covered almost the whole of Japan and reached approximately 98 % of the citizenry, according to in-house statistics. The Fuji-network called itself FNS (Fuji Network System) and operated an in-house news agency, the 'Fuji News Network' (FNN). 'Fuji TV' contributes more than 80 % of the total program content. Since 1982, 'Fuji TV' has also been transmitting content abroad. At first, the evening news magazine 'Supertime' was broadcasted in New York and furnished with English subtitles by the subsidiary 'Fujisankei Communications International, Inc.' (FCI). It can also be received in the USA and Europe. By now, 'Fuji TV' transmits entertainment programs to America and Europe as well and since mid-2008, Fuji TV has been successfully selling programming concepts to FOX and BBC. This way, Fuji TV ties up its success with the distribution of individual programs into Asian countries. Hence, Fuji TV manages to tackle and compensate the issue of decreasing advertising revenues much better than many of the other networks.
Since 2003, the 'Fuji' television programs are being distributed via so-called communication satellites (CS) with the help of modern digital technology. The digital transmission abroad via BS-Satellites commenced as early as 2001.
In 1997, the station moved into its new and completely digitalised television centre located on an artificial island off Tokyo bay. In the same year, the 'Fuji TV KK' went public at the Tokyo stock market in order to finance the costly new construction and gain an improved access to the capital market, catering for eventual further expansions in the future.
Over the course of 2008, a comprehensive restructuring of the company took place. In September 2008, the Japanese regulatory authority confirmed the restructuring plans. On the 1st of October 2008, the Fuji Holding Media was officially inaugurated. Fuji Television Network now merely encompasses the television business and is part of the Fuji Media Holding.
Fuji TV celebrated it's 50th anniversary in 2009.
The image of the 'Fujisankei' company is of a rather ambivalent nature. The Fuji side maintains a lively image, happy & modern and its target audience are the youthful masses. News and other 'hard' information services are put into an entertaining and easily digestible context – 'Infotainment' par excellence'. As far as the political spectrum goes, 'Fuji TV' is moderately conservative, although a handful of programs promote theses, which are more likely to be received with positive response by the right-wing minorities. The 'Sankei' segment however takes a completely different approach: The Sankei Shinbun supports a deliberately national-conservative course. According to Sankei, Japan's militaristic past is a chapter of history that shall remain untouched, comparable to the excesses of Western colonial powers and for which no apologies are necessary, let alone the payment of reparations. Considering the daily circulation of more than 2 million copies, it is easy to assume that 'Sankei' speaks for the 'silent majority' of Japanese people. In reality however, it is the smallest out of five large daily national newspapers.
„Fuji TV“ is the core company of the Fuji TV group and one of eight subdivisions that constitute the 'Fujisankei'-conglomerate of about 90 companies.
The other seven groups are part of the Sankei Shinbun group. Apart from the daily newspaper of the same name (sporting an edition of more than 2 million copies), the group encompasses the economy newspaper 'Nihon Kogyo Shinbun' (Daily circulation of approx. 400.000 copies), the sports newspaper 'Sankei Sports' (Daily circulation of approx. 1,4 million copies) and the tabloid newspaper 'Yukan Fuji' (Daily circulation of approx. 1,4 million copies); two radio broadcasting groups – 'Nippon Hoso' and 'Bunka Hoso', the 'Pony Canyon' - group (planning, production and distribution of music records, film and concert videos, software), the 'Living' – group (mail order); the 'Sankei Building' group (real estate) and a group of organisations that run museums. The company is not in the habit of publishing complete data and even the details of the property situation is only partially known. The most transparent branches are the two public stock companies 'Nippon Hoso KK' and 'Fuji TV KK'. 'Nippon Hoso', the largest shareholder of 'Fuji TV' has been the goal of a spectacular take-over attack in spring 2005, undertaken by the IT company 'Livedoor Co. Ltd' by the Japanese young entrepreneur Takafumi Horie and the goal of which it had been to become a part of 'Fuji TV'. In fact, Horie succeeded in acquiring a majority in 'Nippon Hoso', together with partners from the Livedoor group, which prompted 'Fuji TV' to agree to potential future collaborations with the Livedoor-group during later negotiations. The Livedoor-group on the other hand was willing to sell off a major share of their Nippon Hoso stocks in return. Eventually, Fuji TV will hold 69% of shares while Livedoor will end up with 18% of the Nippon Hoso stock. Takafumi Horie was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in 2006 due to violation of the commercial paper law. Horie appealed in early 2008. The verdict was confirmed by the highest Japanese court in Tokyo in July 2008.
Television and Film
Fuji TV is either directly or indirectly represented in all Japanese territories with both television studios and correspondents through of the FNS/FNN network, which includes 28 stations. As far as foreign territory is concerned, the network disposes of offices in 18 cities. The headquarters of the 'Fujisankei Communications International, Inc' subsidiary (FCI) are located in New York. A specific form of subsidiary was created in Los Angeles, the ' Fujisankei California Entertainment, Inc'. Furthermore, 'Fuji TV' produces television programs and feature films, both with national or international partners. Two of its shareholders – 'Toho' and 'Shochiku' – are two out of the three largest film companies in Japan.
The Fuji TV group also includes the 'Fuso' publishing house (Fuso-sha – English for 'Fuso Publishing, Inc.), publishing popular magazines and books that are tailored towards young men and women – the station's primary target groups.
Activities in Europe
The Funjisankei company's main European office is the FCI-office in London. Another European FCI-office is located in Paris. Fuji TV employs six correspondents in Berlin and further employees in Rome and Moscow, while other FNN-correspondents are based in London and Moscow. The Sankei Shinbun has its own correspondents in London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow. Fuji TV occasionally produces special programs in cooperation with European channels (such as the BBC) The Fuji news magazine 'Supertime' and several entertainment programs can be received in Europe via satellite dishes and cable providers.