Japanese broadcaster Nippon Televisions Holdings has announced that Studio Ghibli will become its subsidiary this October.
The Japan Times reports that under this new development, the storied animation studio, which was founded in 1985, will be lead by Nippon TV’s senior operating officer and board director Hiroyuki Fukuda, with Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki as chairman and director Hayao Miyazaki as honorary chairman.
A Ghibli press release revealed that succession concerns were the reason for the deal. Miyazaki and Suzuki are currently 82 and 75, respectively, and Miyazaki’s oldest son and fellow director, Gorou Miyazaki, had declined being the one to take over the studio, feeling that it would be too difficult a task for him to shoulder alone. The search for another candidate eventually led to talks with Nippon TV.
Ghibli’s relationship with Nippon TV stretches as far back as the 80s. Since its airing of Miyazaki’s 1984 movie Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (produced by the now-defunct Top Craft, but currently listed among Ghibli’s works) in 1985, the broadcaster has featured the studio’s movies on its Friday Roadshow programme block. Nippon TV has also contributed funding for Ghibli’s movies since Kiki’s Delivery Service and supported the opening of the Ghibli Museum.
The new deal will see Nippon TV owning 42.3％ of Ghibli’s shares, making it the majority shareholder.
Sources: The Japan Times, Studio Ghibli press release