Chapter 43: An Insane Listenership Count!
As Zhang Ye had woken up early, there was plenty of time. Zhang Ye was not in a hurry to take the subway to work. He stopped by a kiosk for some time as he browsed through the morning’s papers. He wanted to see if “Little Bunnies Be Good” would be reported.
Beijing Times? None!
Beijing Morning Post? None!
Other tabloids in the capital? Also none!
Zhang Ye was depressed. Could it be because the polls ended too late yesterday? These newspapers probably had to begin printing at 4 A.M., so they could not publish it in time? That would be bad.
He was planning to use this to pull up his listenership rates. Without any promotion, how was he going to pull it up?
Hai, I’ll leave it in God’s hands.
What could be done had been done by Zhang Ye. He had put in his best efforts. Today, he needed to see if the listenership rates would still be at the bottom for “Old and Young Story Club”. Just rising up a bit to the 19th or 20th spot would be good; at least, it wouldn’t be so embarrassing. Only then could Zhang Ye carry on thinking of a method to pull the segment up. There was not much time left.
This time, Zhang Ye was really placing all his hopes and bets on the Education Ministry’s official Essay Competition event. “Old and Young Story Club” depended on this bet to be revived!
Zhang Ye’s goal now was very simple and that was to use his fastest speed to do the segment on his hands well. By obtaining the best newcomer broadcasting host award in the shortest time possible, especially one that was quite authoritative, then he could say goodbye to this screwed up unit. This place was just a springboard for Zhang Ye. It was a pit stop before he went to an even higher stage. After obtaining the experience and qualifications, Zhang Ye would be like a free bird. Just using a niche late-night program like “Ghost Blows Out the Light” was insufficient for buffing up his resume!
From today onwards, he wanted to develop towards being a television host. That was a place that required good looks. Their looks and height requirements were many times higher than a radio station’s for a broadcasting host. How was he to convince the Leaders, Directors or Program Producers to ignore his appearance, so as to get them to hire him? He was a newcomer with average looks and height, and he did not have any background or connections.
Women could rely on makeup if they did not have a pretty face. Without makeup, they could use their bodyline!
What about men? What could men with poor looks rely on? There were only three things that they could rely on.
First: Fake it to make it!
Second: Being good at faking it to make it!
Third: Must be able to be good at faking it to make it!
Alright, let’s be serious. Actually, for a person like him who was lacking, he needed ability and records of service!
Zhang Ye was currently not lacking in ability. The only thing he lacked was his record of service. He had to cause a segment’s listenership to explode, so as to establish his foundation!
It was business as usual.
He had reached the office on the dot. The moment he arrived, Jia Yan had already begun announcing the listenership ratings rankings. Zhang Ye already knew that his segment was still last in place yesterday, so he did not give any face by listening to the ratings. He did not listen to it at all, as he went to the recording studio to record the day’s program.
“Hello, children. Recently, there have been many heinous cases of people abducting children and burglarizing the house when parents are not around in Beijing. Hence, I’ll be telling everyone a short story. Its name is “Little Bunnies Be Good”. I hope everyone will not open the door to strangers from today onwards!”
“Mommy Bunny had three children. One was called Little Red Eyes, one was called Long Ears, and one was called Stumpy Tail.”
“Little Bunnies be good; open the door.”
“Come open quickly; I want to come in.”
In terms of singing ability, Zhang Ye was like an ordinary person. He had no foundation, but neither was it too bad. After all, he was a student of the Broadcasting major. In terms of volume control, voice control and lung capacity, Zhang Ye was not that bad. It was actually pleasing to the ear when he sang the children’s song.
“Not opening, not opening. We’re not opening!”
“Mommy hasn’t returned yet. We won’t open it for anyone!”
After singing it a few times and having re-recorded it a few times, Zhang Ye was finally satisfied. He called Assistant Xiaofang to help him arrange the recording tape.
The moment Xiaofang came in, she stammered, “Teacher Zhang, your…your segment’s rating…”
“It was last, right? I knew about it yesterday. It’s alright.” Zhang Ye did not make a fuss.
Xiaofang was even more worried than him as she said, “But tomorrow and the day after, it will be finished over the weekend. ‘Old and Young Story Club’ will be taken off-air; then, you would not have any segments after that!”
Zhang Ye said, “Isn’t there another two days? No one will know what the outcome would be until the end.”
At noon, the program was broadcast. Zhang Ye did not go to lunch, as he was worried over his listenership rating. However, Zhao Guozhou and two other Leaders of the channel did not come to work, as they seemed to be having a meeting somewhere. It was apparently for the Mid-Autumn Festival’s Poem Meet next week, organized by the Beijing’s Writers Association and the Beijing Radio Station. It was even going to be broadcasted live. Since the Mid-Autumn Festival was approaching, everyone was busy preparing for it. As such, Zhang Ye had no way of knowing the rating beforehand. As there was no news of the promotion of “Little Bunnies Be Good”, both on the television and the newspapers, Zhang Ye felt a chill in his heart.
The next day, Saturday.
Today, most of the colleagues had come, as they collectively worked overtime.
“Teacher Jia, have you finished recording the first episode?”
“I’ve finished recording the first two episodes. What do you think?”
“It was very good. The quality was very high. I think it can enter the top ten.”
“Teacher Jia, you sure are awesome. The station will belong to you young people from now on.”
The moment Zhang Ye came to the office, he saw Jia Yan mingling with his colleagues. He was in the middle, being complimented. Jia Yan seemed to enjoy that feeling.
Jia Yan suddenly saw Zhang Ye as he smirked, “Hey, Teacher Zhang is here? I was just looking for you. We should have a transition for our programs.”
Zhang Ye put down his stuff as he sat down, without giving him a look.
Jia Yan’s expression sank, “On Monday, my program will be broadcast. Tell the listeners over the weekend about this and also promote my program. Is that alright?” After some hesitation, he said, “Teacher Zhang, I know what you are thinking and you have your views. You can’t accept the outcome of the segment being axed, but this was already decided long ago by the station. If a segment always sits at the bottom in terms of listenership ratings, then the station would do their adjustments to the segments or even axe them according to reality. Today, programs with fairy tale stories are at an all-time low. This is the underlying trend. Every radio and television station have begun their adjustments to children’s programs. No one can save them, so I hope you would consider the bigger picture and make way for my segment.”
Zhang Ye glanced at him, “I do not need a rookie like you to tell me what is the big picture. Just do your own things well. When was it your place to meddle in my affairs?”
“Are you picking a fight?” Jia Yan turned angry.
Zhang Ye laughed, “I come to work to do my job and do my work. Here you come, trying to educate me, so who is the one picking a fight?”
“Little Zhang, what sort of attitude is that?” Wu Datao, who had a grudge with Zhang Ye, shouted, “Why is there so much malice in your words?”
Zhang Ye looked at him and said, “This is my attitude. In the past and in the future, it will always be like this. I do not need someone teaching me how I should be. I still have the same words to say, ‘Old and Young Story Club’ will carry on broadcasting. This segment is being hosted by me and my segment doesn’t need people telling me what to do! You want to take over the Literature Channel’s afternoon show? Alright, wait until your segment really goes on air before talking!”
Jia Yan took up his challenge, “Alright! Let’s wait and see!”
Tian Bin laughed, “Zhang Ye, you did not see yesterday’s listenership ratings, right?”
An old anchorman in the channel said, “Little Zhang, I have listened to Old Feng’s segment all these years. Although I do not want it to end, but reality shows that it cannot keep up with the times. The quantity of children’s fairy tales is too low, and the quality of the works are too poor as well. It is the trend.”
Teacher Feng, who was sitting beside Zhang Ye, also let out a long sigh.
Another middle-aged editor said, “We can understand how you want to make your segment do well, but one needs to face the facts. You should begin preparing for the end of the segment.”
There were people who kicked him while he was down, while others took a schadenfreude attitude. Everyone began chiming in to “educate” Zhang Ye.
Hearing all the chatter, Wang Xiaomei also got irritated. She said, “The segment will definitely end, but how Teacher Little Zhang wants it to end, he definitely has his own opinion. So there’s no need for everyone to keep chiming in, right? Can’t you mind your own business?”
The old anchorman frowned, “Xiaomei, can’t us few comrades say something to a newcomer? Can’t we advise him when his thoughts are problematic?”
Zhang Ye laughed, “I surely do not think my thoughts are problematic. I want to use a positive attitude to do my segment well. Is that thought problematic?”
Tian Bin snorted, “But can you do it well?”
Jia Yan waved his hand, “Let’s not say anymore. It’s not like he will listen.”
Wu Datao shook his head and said, “Trying to chase up by to one or two spots higher is a positive attitude. To let it go from the bottom to the top ten? Then that is reaching beyond one’s grasp! Indulging in fantasy!”
Someone came in from outside!
“Who will take the ratings table?” It was a staff member from the Statistics department.
“Give it to me.” Jia Yan pretended like he was the Leader. He slowly walked over to take the form. After the Statistics department staff left, he did not take a look and just said to everyone, “I’ll announce the ratings for yesterday.” This feeling was quite wonderful. He had high expectations for his future. He also thought highly of his own segment. Just thinking of his segment’s rating increasing day by day, and then getting a position in the station through his connections, he will then definitely fix that Zhang!
Everyone was inattentive. Few cared, as it was pointless. The station’s ratings were pretty much fixed. It was almost the same every day, as it was difficult to have any change.
Teacher Feng also did not pay attention. It could be said that he didn’t even want to hear it.
“First place…” Jia Yan announced, “Teacher Wang Xiaomei’s “Talk About the World”. Listenership 3.87%.”
Back then when Wang Xiaomei’s rating broke four, it was due to abnormal circumstances. However, even though it never broke four again, “Talk About the World” had gained an increase in listeners after the university student’s suicide matter. As such, its ratings were much higher than before.
Everyone gave a token round of applause before they lowered their heads to busy themselves with work.
“Second…” Upon seeing this, Jia Yan’s hands suddenly trembled. It was as if he had seen a ghost as his eyes widened, “This!”
“What’s the matter?”
“Why aren’t you reading it?”
Everyone felt something was amiss as they all looked over.
Wu Datao laughed, “Why? Did my ‘Entertainment Daily’’s rating increase again?”
“Entertainment Daily” always took second spot in the Literature Channel. Due to the special nature of the segment, the broadcasting host would take turns. It was usually a man and woman duo. Now, it was Wu Datao and a female host who took over the hosting. The week’s ratings had been good, as they had steadily increased.
Jia Yan did not reply.
Wu Datao was dazed. What? I’m not second?
Everyone was shocked, too. It was impossible! “Entertainment Daily” was a news segment! This type of program had never dropped below second place!
Then who was it?
‘Late-night Ghost Stories’? Impossible! A late-night segment did not have such an audience base!
With everyone paying attention, Jia Yan paused for a long while before vaguely saying, “Second place is…’Old and Young Story Club’. Listenership 2.40%!”