Chapter 48: The Program Won't Be Axed!
Today was an important day. Zhang Ye woke up at 5 A.M. and could not return back to sleep. After tossing and turning, he reached the unit early. The office was still empty. There was not a single person. Editor Zhang who opened the doors had not arrived, so Zhang Ye had to go downstairs to the lobby to get the key to the Literature Channel, before he managed to enter the room.
He watched the news.
He checked his name.
He searched for comments for his program.
These were the three things Zhang Ye did every morning. A glance at the morning news was sufficient. The comments were mostly similar to those of yesterday. Either they were cursing that Zhang Ye was without morals by neutering the story, or they shouted to not have "Old and Young Story Club" end. Zhang Ye was mainly searching for his name and he was surprised to find out that in a day's time, the number of searches for his name had reached a total of 16,000 times on the country's biggest search engine website. Although it could not be compared to those A-list celebrities who had hundreds of thousands to millions of searches, it was still a sharp rise. Note that this was not the search numbers of Zhang Ye's segments. It was also not for his fairy tales or novels, but the two words "Zhang Ye".
"Ghost Blows Out the Light" having 10,000+ was no surprise, as there was nearly ten thousand searches every day!
The search numbers for "Little Bunnies Be Good" exceeding 10,000 was also no surprise. In fact, it had exceeded 110,000 the day before!
They were all searches, but the value of Zhang Ye's name being searched was completely different. This meant that many listeners who had tuned into the programs had noticed the voice behind the radio, Zhang Ye. This was a mark of his growth in popularity. Zhang Ye's ambition was to become this world's greatest and most famous celebrity in the world. He knew how things worked in the industry. Following a particular work was just the beginning stages. It was just popularity on the surface and wasn't as reliable. This was because once a piece of work "expired", people will forget with time. Then this popularity on the surface would also dissipate, and not much popularity would be left. However, if people paid attention to a person, it was different. This had a much deeper meaning in terms of popularity than paying attention to a piece of work.
Once his popularity rose, even if it was negative, that was also considered fame. Zhang Ye could feel his dreams taking its initial steps, but it did not stop one bit. He was developing towards his goal with every second.
However, even though it was a good thing, he still could not feel happy.
This was because the fate of "Old and Young Story Club" was still unknown. If the program was axed, then he would not have a platform for him to disseminate his works. As such, he would not be able to carry on increasing his popularity using high-quality works. The little amount of popularity he had would not be able to be maintained for long before turning to naught in the end.
"Eh, Little Zhang, you've come?"
"Teacher Zhang, why are you so early today?"
At around 8 A.M., colleagues began reaching the unit.
Teacher Feng had also arrived early. After seeing Zhang Ye, their gazes crossed and after a greeting, no one said anything more. The both of them were aware. Teacher Feng was also waiting for a result. He wanted to see if Zhang Ye was able to create another historical miracle!
Quite a number of people were also discussing about this.
"Do you think the station will cancel the axing of 'Old and Young Story Club'?"
"I'm pretty sure that won't happen. Little Jia is, after all, a relative of Deputy Station Head Jia. Have you forgotten?"
"But now Teacher Little Zhang has made his program perform so well with listenership ratings in second place. If the station did not revoke the notification from before, how much pressure would they need to withstand?"
"That's right. The listeners paralyzed our station's official website with all the cursing!"
"That doesn't mean that it won't be axed. There has never been such a precedent."
"Precedent? A late-night program had never reached the top three in the ratings. A children's fairy tales segment has never reached second place in the ratings. Precedents are meant to be broken!"
"How would we know what the Leader is thinking? Let's just wait and see."
At this moment, Tian Bin had arrived. Jia Yan had also arrived. So no one carried on discussing this topic.
The office turned silent, as if everyone was watching Zhang Ye and Jia Yan. Everyone knew that this day belonged to them. It was the day of their battle!
At 9 A.M., Zhao Guozhou arrived punctuality. It was clear that he had just arrived at the unit. His hand was still holding a bag. He did not return to his own office first and instead came to announce yesterday's listenership ratings, "Almost everyone is here, right? Alright, then stop for a while. I'll announce the listenership ratings."
Everyone was very serious. Many people were curious about the listenership rating for yesterday's "Old and Young Story Club". Although Zhang Ye had succeeded in taking the risk of a serialization on his first day, it was not necessarily the case on the second day. Maybe the listeners did not realize that the story was a series, so they finished listening to it without a second thought. Maybe they would lose their patience on the second day when they realized that it was a serialization? These were all possible. So the rating was clearly crucial for the battle between Zhang Ye and Jia Yan today.
"First place. 'Talk About the World' listenership 3.81%." Zhao Guozhou gave a very pleased look at Wang Xiaomei, "Teacher Xiaomei, well done. After telling you off that day, there was a significant improvement in the program yesterday. There were many new things. Hehe, I really liked that part about eating watermelons. Was that something you did on the spot?"
Wang Xiaomei smiled. "Yes."
"Well said. Carry on maintaining it. I think breaking four percent on your listenership rating will not be too far off." After Zhao Guozhou gave his praises, he looked down at the table, "Second place..."
It was unknown if it was intentional as he paused for a long time.
As everyone was looking, hoping to see through the form, Zhao Guozhou said, "Second place. 'Old and Young Story Club' listenership..." Again he stretched it out. "2.78%!"
Everyone went into an uproar!
2.78%? What the f***!
You must be going mad! Is there anyone that can stop it?
One had to know that "Old and Young Story Club" only had zero point something listenership ratings a few days before. Even yesterday's and the day before's ratings were around 2.4%. Today, it had increased by slightly more than 0.3%? Didn't this development mean that it was trending to break three? Holy ****! This was too amazing!
Many people drew in a mouthful of air!
According to the situation's development, it would be very hard for "Entertainment Daily" to catch up with "Old and Young Story Club". It would be a dream for the previous set-in-stone second place to regain the second spot. Uh, it could not be said that way either. This was because the Story Club was going to go off-air today. Without the program, there would not be a listenership rating. Thus, "Entertainment Daily" would regain its second spot without a fight...
Teacher Feng was the happiest. He grabbed Zhang Ye's arm and clutched him tightly.
Zhang Ye was already mentally prepared for today's listenership rating. The day before yesterday was "The Wizard of Oz"'s first day of serialization. He had carefully selected a fairy tale that would appeal to all ages, so as to retain many of the listeners who had come for "Little Bunnies Be Good". The facts had proven that Zhang Ye had managed to do it. Not only had he done it, he had excelled, nearly achieving perfection. Yesterday was the second day of the serialization. Zhang Ye's goal was not as simple as retaining the audience. Under the premise of creating a new audience base, his goal was to create a habit for people to listen in. By letting them wait for 'Old and Young Story Club' every day for the serialization, there was no way of catching up if one episode was missed. This was also a forceful method of making people accept the serialization of a fairy tale. Now, looking at the listenership ratings, Zhang Ye knew he had managed to do it!
As long as "Old and Young Story Club" was not axed, Zhang Ye had every reason to believe that the listenership ratings of "The Wizard of Oz" would keep increasing!
This was the benefit of a serialization!
This was the advantage of a serialization!
Zhao Guozhou did not praise Zhang Ye like yesterday. He said it in passing before announcing the rest of the listenership ratings. This ambiguous attitude made everyone even more baffled.
After he finished announcing, Zhao Guozhou did what he did yesterday. He left after turning around.
Jia Yan was also dazed. He was still thinking that Zhao Guozhou would say something. However, in the end, there was nothing. Like yesterday, he ran out to chase after him.
"I want to talk to you. Do you have some time?"
"Sure. Follow me to my office."
Once they left, Big Sis Zhou worried for Zhang Ye, "Little Zhang, you should go, too!"
"That's right, that's right!" Another person, Aunt Wang, chimed in, "You should quickly try to grasp an opportunity. Say something nice. Who knows if the Leader might change his mind!"
Previously, Zhang Ye was not popular with his colleagues. Firstly, he had offended the Leader. Secondly, he was new, so he hadn't had much interaction with others. He did not know many people, which resulted in his poor social popularity. Now, through his fairy tale stories, Zhang Ye had at least managed to gain the liking of the five to six women in the office.
Furthermore, with Jia Yan being young and so aggressive that he did not show any respect for Teacher Feng on his first day, there were many older people who did not like him. As such, they slowly leaned towards Zhang Ye. They did not care that Zhang Ye cursed as he had back when he and Tian Bin cursed at each other on the internet. Tian Bin was a person who usually spoke badly of people behind their backs and since he was the person who first instigated the dispute and Zhang Ye was just reacting to it, it was understandable due to the extenuating circumstances.
Furthermore, no matter how much a jerk Zhang Ye was, he had never been disrespectful to the older people in the station. When had he never been polite when he met them? Just from this point, Zhang Ye was already in a much better position than Jia Yan in the hearts of the older people!
"There's no need." Zhang Ye did not go.
"You care about your face too much. Will lowering your head kill you?" Aunt Wang felt exasperated.
Zhang Ye was very clear of the situation, "I have done my things well. I have already put in my greatest efforts into it. The Leader's decision was likely already decided some time ago. I also won't be able to change it."
Although he said so, the process was quite a torment.
Two hours passed since Jia Yan left, but still, he was not seen.
Zhang Ye repeatedly looked as his watch. He also went to the Leader's office, but there was no one there. He returned to the office and asked an old editor, "Editor Xu, the afternoon's program is about to begin soon. The Leader isn't around either. What's going on? What about today's program?"
Editor Xu was also unsure what to do. He could not reach Director Zhao on the phone!
Finally as it was approaching noon, Zhang Ye asked, "What's going to happen?"
Editor Xu slapped his forehead, "Little Zhang, why don't you record it first?"
"It can't be recorded anymore. It can only be broadcast live since it's this late." Zhang Ye pointed to his watch.
Editor Xu bit his tongue, "Then let's do a live broadcast. You take the reins. We'll speak after the live broadcast is over!"
Zhang Ye agreed and immediately called for his assistant, "Xiaofang, quickly reserve a live broadcast studio. The faster, the better." He picked up a bottle of mineral water to moisten his throat before setting off.
Zhang Ye pushed the volume button, "Hello listeners. Due to some special reasons and circumstances, today's program will still be 'Old and Young Story Club'. Let me tell everyone the fifth chapter of "The Wizard of Oz", The Rescue of the Tin Woodman."
Zhang Ye managed to finally finish his program's live broadcast. He returned to the office from the live broadcasting studio at 1 P.M. Only then did he see Jia Yan, who was silent.
When Jia Yan saw Zhang Ye, he had raised his head, but then quickly bowed his head to carry on typing on the computer. He no longer had the aggressive air that he had on his first day.
Zhang Ye roughly understood what had happened. He walked towards Teacher Feng, "Our program won't be axed?"
Teacher Feng whispered, "No talk about not axing, but Director Zhao did not say a word despite knowing you were broadcasting live. His intention is to let us carry on broadcasting. The station has not mentioned anything about axing the program anymore."
Zhang Ye heaved a sigh of relief, as if a burden had been lifted, "Teacher Feng, I finally did not disappoint you. I managed to keep the program!"
Teacher Feng squeezed his shoulder, "I won't be coming to the unit tomorrow. You have given me a big gift before I leave! Thank you!"
"To think you have to say that. It's what should have happened. I also do not wish for the program to end." Zhang Ye said.
Tian Bin was secretly burning with anger. How could it be!? The Leader really tolerated him?
Wu Datao could not accept it. The station really did not axe the program? They really were letting Zhang Ye do what was deemed an impossible task?
Everyone saw this and felt mixed emotions. The past few days were too dramatic.
Thinking back to the day when Zhang Ye declared his bold words, saying that "Old and Young Story Club" would not be axed, none of them had believed him. No one treated him seriously. But by giving Zhang Ye five days, just five days of programming was enough for Zhang Ye to complete a startling reversal. He had managed to change a segment that was dead last to a legendary myth in terms of ratings. The results were so stunning that the station's management could not say anything!
A young person's abilities must be respected!
A new generation was replacing the old!
This made people begin to realize that maybe one needed to bow one's head or compromise at work, but in front of absolute ability and results, many intrinsic beliefs appeared laughable. Jia Yan was an example. So what if he was the Station's Leader's relative? A segment that was decided on could still fail to go on air! It similarly could not replace Zhang Ye's segment. Jia Yan had to queue up obediently in the station! Why? This was because Zhang Ye had handed in a result that no one else could hand in! "Old and Young Story Club" had received second place in the Literature Channel! Its rating was at the tenth place in the entire Beijing Radio Station! Coupled with "Late-night Ghost Stories" being fourth in the Literature Channel and 19th in the entire station! There was no one who could move Zhang Ye's position in the radio station!
This time, Zhang Ye had really rooted himself. He had laid a deep foundation through his hard work and determination!