Aya Takashima, 29, who is a popular announcer at Fuji Television, faces a problem. She cannot easily get married and quit the company due to her enormous popularity. A typical “career path” for female Fuji announcers – marriage, retirement and freelancer – seems difficult for her.
Recently, some tabloid media reported that Takashima is getting married to Yujin Kitagawa, 32, of the popular singing duo Yuzu. But she denied it on her official blog: “I don't have such a plan. Please don't worry about it.”
While Takashima denies any imminent marriage plans, insiders at Fuji TV say the network believed otherwise.
“Because the two have never denied past media rumors about their plans to get married, Fuji execs thought it was inevitable. But it's not good timing for Fuji. We don't have any substitute announcers who could as good a job as Takashima in both news programs and variety shows,” said a TV producer.
Another source is also concerned: “'Mezamashi TV,' in which Takashima regularly appears every weekday morning, is a significant program for Fuji. The competition is fierce with other networks' programs in the same time slot, such as 'Zoom-In Super' and 'Minomonta's Asa Zuba.' If Takashima gets married and becomes a freelancer, Fuji would have to pay her more than now.”
Takashima, who has been chosen as the most popular female announcer in Japan in a ranking by entertainment survey agency Oricon for the past three years, plays an important role for Fuji.
But why does Fuji persist with Takashima when it has a lot of popular female announcers?
“Minako Nakano, who was once seen as a 'post-Takashima,' is not that popular because of scandals over her many ex-boyfriends. Tomoko Honda and Rio Hirai are popular enough but lack skills as professional announcers,” said an Fuji employee.
Takashima's comment on her blog, “Don't worry about it,” might be a message for Fuji, rather than for her fans. (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)© Japan Today