National

NHK may oust anchor of popular news show ‘Close-up Gendai’

Kyodo

NHK is considering revamping its popular news program “Close-up Gendai” and ditching anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya, who has helmed the incisive current affairs show for more than 20 years, broadcasting sources said Friday.

The change, being considered for this spring, would mean the loss of a second familiar face in TV news this year. TV Asahi Corp. said late last year that Ichiro Furutachi will step down in April from its signature “Hodo Station,” an extremely popular news show that he has anchored since April 2004.

Kuniya, 58, has been with “Close-up Gendai” since 1993. She is a freelancer.

NHK is considering changing the show’s title to “Close-up Gendai Plus” and pushing back its starting time to 10 p.m. from 7:30 p.m. , the sources said.

Meanwhile, NHK President Katsuto Momii has said a prospective tie-up between the public broadcaster and regional newspapers will focus on presenting Japan’s less-known tourist spots to foreigners.

Momii said Thursday they will jointly promote the venues in print and in NHK’s foreign-language broadcasts.

“NHK’s international broadcasts are watched by a considerably large number of people, and they have started to become influential,” he said.

He also said Monday that he will press for stronger partnerships with regional papers in meetings with media executives who are members of Kyodo News — of which NHK is one.