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Jul 16, 2015 | 12:56 PM EDT

Yoo Jae Suk Signs On To FNC- What This Means For Korean Entertainment?

BY Adrienne Stanley

On July 16, FNC Entertainment announced that the agency had secured an exclusive contract with variety star Yoo Jae Suk. Known as the nation's MC, Yoo has transitioned his career as a comedian into lucrative roles on popular Korean variety shows ranging from "X-Man" and "Infinite Challenge" to "Running Man." 

A report published by the Korean outlet The Chosun Ilbo outlined the significance of his contract with FNC and their position on acquiring the top star. "Yoo Jae Suk has signed an exclusive contract with FNC," said a representative for the agency. "With a sincere image and popularity, Yoo is a person who best matches FNC's vision to positively influence through great content." 

Yoo expressed his gratitude towards the company and other artists who are housed by the agency. 

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Stock prices on the KOSDAQ for FNC Entertainment closed with an increase of 29.81 percent, following news regarding the exclusive deal between the agency and Yoo. The 42-year-old comedian was previously a free-agent for the past five years. 

FNC continues to increase its profile, particularly as the agency moves beyond music. The company represents top pop-rock groups like CNBLUE and FTISLAND while also managing the up-and-coming girl group, AOA. Actors on the roster include Lee Dong Gun and Lee Da Hae. Beyond its role in artist management, FNC has remained a leader in K-Drama original soundtrack compositions and releases, due to the previous work of CEO Han Seong Ho. 

While the agency has made steady progress, in the past, the acquisition of Yoo Jae Suk has the potential to increase the profile of FNC to the level of YG, SM or JYP Entertainment.

Speculation has now started to surface regarding the recent announcement of Song Ji Hyo, as a free agent. If she were to join FNC, not only would she share management with Yoo Jae Suk, but with Jung Hyung Dong and Lee Gook Ju. 

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About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramastars. She is also a contributing writer for KpopStarz, MTV Iggy, Viki and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

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