Chapter 13: The Listenership Rating for the Program Explodes!
At 9 A.M., it was time to work.
Zhang Ye was busy replying to letters from his listeners.
Tian Bin and Li Si walked in together, late by a few minutes. But in an institution like this, the rules were more lax than in the private sector.
After Tian Bin arrived, the atmosphere became a little awkward.
Everyone’s attention was focused on both Tian Bin and Zhang Ye.
As victors were always more gentlemanly, Zhang Ye made his greeting, as if nothing had happened, “Teacher Tian, good morning.” It was as though they had not quarreled the day before.
Tian Bin ignored him, thinking begrudgingly, “That Zhang! Don’t get too c*cky. That ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ might not get you anywhere. Grave robbing? This was something illegal. These two words are already not positive and you are finished if the listeners do not accept it. When the ratings reach a new low, it will be time to get off your high horse. You won’t be jumping around for much longer. The listenership ratings will be announced soon. Wait and see!”
Tian Bin was waiting for the listenership ratings.
Zhang Ye was waiting for them, too. He, too, didn’t really know how accepting the listeners were. Although he had received a lot of letters of praise, there were still some critics, some of which were quite harsh. Although this was just a small sample of the audience, what the actual results were still depended upon the whole listener base.
The door outside opened and Zhao Guozhou walked in with his pot belly as he came for his inspection. He passed on some instructions to his old comrades and spoke with an editor, before setting his eyes on Zhang Ye with a little laugh, “Little Zhang. Uh, yesterday’s performance wasn’t too bad. Whether the rating is good or bad, your story was just too timely.” Speaking of this, he spoke to someone, “Oh, right. Are the ratings for yesterday out? Why didn’t anyone give it to me?”
Wang Xiaomei raised her head, “I just came from upstairs. They are still at it, but it should be ready soon.”
Suddenly, the female assistant, Xiaofang, who helped Zhang Ye the night before, briskly walked in with a form. The moment she stepped in, she took a quick look at Zhang Ye and handed the form to Zhao Guozhou, “Leader, the ratings have been released. These are the overall statistics for yesterday!”
Zhao Guozhou acknowledged it and took a look, but he couldn’t help but be taken aback, “Did you take the correct one?”
Xiaofang, with a wry smile, said, “Of course, I did. The statistics department directly handed it to me.” While saying that, her eyes drifted over to Zhang Ye’s direction again.
The leader’s comment could not help but stir up everyone’s curiosity. Well? Was there anything wrong with the ratings?
“Everyone, stop your work for a bit. I will be announcing the rankings.” This was a daily affair of the Literature Channel. Zhao Guozhou would, almost without fail, announce daily the rankings for the previous day, so as to apply pressure on everyone. The top-ranked star segments with high listenership had high advertising fees and high bonuses. Segments that ranked at the bottom faced the risk of being cut, like Tian Bin’s hosted segment “Late-night Ghost Stories”’ previous novel, “Ghosts of Midnight”. There were many parts in the middle which had been edited out and the ending was directly broadcasted. All in all, a total of over 10 episodes were removed due to the lack of listeners.
There was no choice.
The station always replayed the day’s programs after 1 A.M., meaning that “Late-night Ghost Stories” was the last program of the day. Listener numbers were already limited due to this reason. How many people would want to listen to the radio this late at night? Segments that appeared very late at night, like this one, would never have a chance to be compared with the segments that were broadcasted between the golden hours of 7 and 8 P.M. The amount of people listening in could even reach a result that had a difference of ten times. Including the weekend, the Literature Channel had slightly over 20 segments in total. “Late-night Ghost Stories” was always ranked at around 20th place, which meant it was either first or second if you were to count from the back. Even a lightning strike wouldn’t be able to move it. It was not that the segment was bad. They had the most loyal listeners amongst all of the Literature Channel’s segments. It all boiled down to the extremely limited audience base and late night timing, so how could it ever fight for a place among the top spots? It would definitely be an international joke!
Zhang Ye eagerly looked on with hope, but without any ambition. As long as it was not in last place, he would be fine with the result.
Zhao Guozhou announced, “First place, “Talk About the World.”
This was Wang Xiaomei’s segment. She and her team were not surprised. Several years had passed with Wang Xiaomei’s segment always being ranked at the top, without losing its place even once. Not only at their own station’s Literature Channel, the amount of ratings received was one of the highest amongst the Beijing Radio Station’s radio channels. It had a prime-time slot and a pretty female host, so other than the traffic and news channels, her segment had always outdone all the other segments.
“Second place.” Zhao Guozhou read from the list, “Entertainment Daily.”
The Literature Channel, which included the entertainment circle’s news, could not be compared with the News channel in terms of its audience base. But they had their own fixed audience base, as well. This segment was also a standard fixture for second place.
It was time to reveal the third place.
But Zhao Guozhou held back for a long while, like he was reading off the ratings graph.
“Old Zhao?” one of the managers who was close to him said suspiciously.
Zhao Guozhou remained in his paused state for a short moment before announcing, “Third place…….” Stretching his tone, he finally said, “The third place goes to….. ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’!”
“Late-night Ghost Stories” placed third?
Upon hearing this, Tian Bin freaked out from the inside! He was still wondering if Zhang Ye could carry on the tradition of being in the last place, but somehow the results were as such! Were the statistics compiled incorrectly? That must be it: a compilation error! He knew his segment the best of anyone here. Tian Bin was wondering, “How could this unpopular program , which was on its deathbed, achieve such a high listenership?”
Li Si was staring out of his gaping wide eyes!
Zhang Ye did not expect such a result either and was shocked by it!
Not to mention anyone else, the whole office was temporarily in shock. No one could believe their own ears!
“Late-night Ghost Stories” placed third? This is not a joke, right? This segment was always ranked last or the second to last in the Literature Channel! Alright, as this was the first broadcast for a new story and the promotions were more than ever before, logically, the listenership would increase a lot. This was because listeners would always be curious and a new story would always attract them to find out what story would be broadcast. If it was any good, they would continue listening in; otherwise, they wouldn’t. Thereafter, the listeners would dwindle in number before settling on a steady number. But even if a new story could increase the ratings, this was too much of an exaggeration!
Straight to third place?
Even doing better than the 5 P.M. and 9 P.M. segments?
Doesn’t this mean that all the listeners pulled in by the promotions never turned off or changed channels once they heard the beginning of “Late-night Ghost Stories”? Almost all of them were retained by this story? That reason allowed the ratings’ average to be pulled up by so much?
Even Wang Xiaomei, who was the host with the best ratings, reacted to this. Even her segment could not retain all of its listeners. Who doesn’t switch channels if they found the program boring? That’s why, even when the listenership rating was high at the beginning of the segment, it would slowly decrease towards the last half hour of the segment and, as such, the average rating would go down by at least half!
But what’s with “Late-night Ghost Stories”?
The average listenership was too scary!
Instantaneously, everyone looked at Zhang Ye differently. A rookie who had just arrived, a novel ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ that no one had ever heard of – these led to the late night segment securing third place in the ratings? Holy ****! You must be on drugs!