Wednesday, October 10, 2012

K-pop Agencies Venture Into Managing Actors, Hosts

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Two of Korea's biggest K-pop agencies have expanded their empires into managing actors and TV hosts, and TV production, a move that will keep their stronghold in the business.
SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, which handle K-pop's hottest singers including Girls Generation, Wonder Girls, Super Junior and 2AM, have ventured out of their core business.
Jang Dong-gun and Kang Ho Dong (Photos by

SME's subsidiary SM C&C has also recently merged with AM Entertainment, an entity that handles A-list stars such as   Jang Dong-gun, Han Ji Min and Kim Ha Neul, among others.
Jang Dong-gun is one of the most popular stars in Korea. He made his Hollywood debut via the film "The Warrior's Way" released in 2010. His latest movie, "Dangerous Liaisons," was shown during the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and also premiered at the Busan International Film Festival.
Before the merger, SM C&C announced in August that it signed up TV hosts Kang Ho Dong and Shin Dong Yup, as well as comedians Lee Soo Geun and Kim Byung Man.
It was later revealed that Kang Ho Dong would be returning to hosting talent show "Star King" in November after he announced his retirement from the industry last year due to his tax evasion case. He will also return to the TV program "Knee-Drop Guru."
Kang Ho Dong was investigated by Korea's National Tax Service for failing to pay the correct taxes.
Following the controversy, the TV host apologized and announced in September last year that he would be retiring from the industry. He was later fined $700,000 (about P29 million).
No charges were filed against him in court.
Meanwhile, JYP Entertainment is also venturing into managing actors. It recently added actor Choi Woo Sik to its stable of stars.
He gained fame when he starred in the Korean drama "Rooftop Prince," which aired earlier this year.
These new ventures will heat up the competition between the agencies.
Other singers under SM Entertainment are SHINee, f(x), EXO and TVXQ while JYP Entertainment also manages 2PM and Miss A.

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