KBS drama center faces exodus as key producers opt for retirement

KBS drama producers have recently submitted their applications for voluntary retirement, causing concerns about the exodus of key personnel who have been responsible for KBS prime-time dramas for many years.

PD Hwang In-hyuk and PD Kim Han-sol from the KBS Production 2 Division Drama Center recently applied for long-service special honorary retirement and were officially retired as of last month 29th. When asked about his future plans, PD Hwang In-hyuk stated, “I haven’t decided anything yet.” PD Kim Han-sol, on the other hand, is reported to have received offers from various production companies due to his solid content production capabilities.

PD Hwang In-hyuk is a veteran PD with a strong foothold in the drama industry. He is known to have joined KBS alongside PD Na Young-seok in 2001, coming from the KBS Entertainment Division background.

He began his directing career with the KBS 2TV drama “More Beautiful Than a Flower” in 2004 and went on to direct various genres of dramas such as “Goodbye Solo” (2006), “Eighteen, Twenty-Nine” (2006-2007), “Dal-ja’s Spring” (2007), “Queen Seondeok” (2009), “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” (2010), “Spy Myung-wol” (2011), “Assembly” (2015), “Laurel Tree Tailors” (2016-2017), and “Doctor Prisoner” (2019). In 2022, he directed the KBS 2TV drama “When Flowers Bloom, I Think of the Moon,” starring Hye-ri and Yoo Seung-ho.

Especially noteworthy are the KBS 1TV daily drama “Eighteen, Twenty-Nine,” which achieved a peak rating of 43.2% (Nielsen Korea nationwide) in January 2007, the KBS 2TV weekend drama “Laurel Tree Tailors,” which recorded a peak rating of 36.2% in February 2017, and the 2010 Monday-Tuesday drama “Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” which also gained immense popularity.

PD Kim Han-sol joined the station as a current affairs and culture PD in 2004. Starting with KBS 1TV’s “Korean History Series” in 2008, he directed various current affairs and culture programs such as “New History Special” on KBS 1TV, “Consumer Report” on KBS 1TV, and “Investigative Report 60 Minutes” on KBS 2TV.

In 2016, he directed and wrote the factual drama “Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin,” which received high praise for its dynamic and thrilling battle scenes. “Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin” won numerous awards, including the Best Director award from the Korea Broadcast Camera Directors Association, the Grand Prize at the 44th Korea Broadcasting Awards, the Gold Prize at the New York TV & Film Festival, and the Special Jury Award at the Houston International Film Festival. After moving to the KBS Drama Center, PD Kim Han-sol co-directed the recently concluded drama “The War of Flowers and Birds” with PD Jeon Woo-seong.

In addition to PD Hwang In-hyuk and PD Kim Han-sol, four other PDs from the KBS Production 2 Division Drama Center have resigned. PD Kim Young-gyun and PD Ahn Jun-yong applied for special honorary retirement, while PD Shim Jae-hyun and PD Lee Hyun-seok applied for voluntary retirement.

PD Kim Young-gyun directed dramas such as “I’ve Fallen for You” (2008), “Smile, Dong-hae” (2010), “Mary Stayed Out All Night” (2010), “Spy Myung-wol” (2011), and “Witch’s Court” (2017).

PD Ahn Jun-yong worked on dramas like “The Age of Enlightenment: The Birth of Two Spirits” (2014), “Drama Special – Disqualified from Laughter” (2016), “Oh My Geum-bi” (2016-2017), “Drama Special – Siren” (2021).

PD Shim Jae-hyun directed “Producer” (2015), “Zombie Detective” (2020), “Taejong Yi Bang-won” (2021-2022), while PD Lee Hyun-seok directed “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” (2019), “Hi? It’s Me!” (2020), “Born Again” (2021), “Yeonmo” (2021), “Now, We Are Breaking Up” (2022), and “My Heart Beats” (2023).

A total of 87 employees, including announcers Jeong Se-jin, Jeong Eun-seung, and Kim Yoon-ji, applied for this special honorary retirement and voluntary retirement, which took place from the 15th to the 26th of last month.