TV Asahi Corp. said Thursday that Ichiro Furutachi, who has been the face of the network’s signature news show since April 2004, will step down from the anchor post next spring at his request.
The 61-year-old news presenter told the network he would like to “try new fields,” TV Asahi said, adding that a successor for the “Hodo Station” news program, which will continue after his departure at the end of March, had not yet been chosen. Hodo means news reporting in Japanese.
He assumed the anchor post when the network’s popular “News Station” program was revamped into Hodo Station about 12 years ago. Furutachi’s predecessor, Hiroshi Kume, led News Station for 18½ years.
TV Asahi released a statement expressing its “heartfelt appreciation for Mr. Furutachi’s great contributions.” During the presentation of various news items, he was clear-cut and right on the mark, a style made possible due to his “daily grueling efforts and sincere attitude,” it said.
Hodo Station had an extremely high viewer rating of 13.2 percent on average in the Kanto region including Tokyo for the past 2,960 broadcasts as of Wednesday, the network said.