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Is RPN-9 Destined to Return?

The RPN name and logo was last used on air in 2012, after which Solar Television took full control of the network’s airtime. (Logo courtesy of the Radio Philippines Network)

All eyes are on Channel 9 and a possible return to the RPN name.

On July 21, Solar News Channel decided to drop the word ‘Solar’ from its news programs. Consequentially, the renamed programs are now simply known as ‘Daybreak’ (morning), ‘The Headlines’ (news updates per 15 minutes), ‘Newsday’ (afternoon), ‘Cebuano News’ (Cebuano language afternoon), ‘Kapampangan News’ (Kapampangan language afternoon), ‘Network News’ (early evening), ‘Nightly News’ (late evening), and ‘Sports Desk’ (sports).

In a related development, Media Newser Philippines also reported through a network insider that News9, the news department of the original Radio Philippines Network, will also be revived to replace the Solar News name, with a target launch slated for the last quarter of 2014. The report came after Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation acquired RPN’s stake from Solar Entertainment.

Then starting August 16, cartoons and educational programs will take over SNC’s weekend morning programming. SNC’s ‘Kids Weekend’ will feature the return of ‘Sesame Street’ to Philippine television, as well as other memorable cartoons such as the ‘Care Bears’, ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, ‘Batman’ and the DC Comics Universe, and ‘Pokemon’.

With all these developments, does this mean the old Radio Philippines Network name will return on the air? Or will this lead to an even bigger plan?

Let’s face it, Channel 9 is and will always be known as RPN-9. Not Solar News Channel, C/S 9, Solar TV, ETC, or any other incarnation in its history. RPN has been an iconic brand on Philippine television, and through good times and bad, the network always provided a great show for its viewers.

More importantly, with SNC’s slow move away from a purely news-oriented network, the possibility of bringing back the RPN name on air seems certain. Even the revival of the long-running but recently retired newscast ‘NewsWatch’ is bound to happen.

But there is one problem. Ramon Ang recently acquired a 30% stake of GMA Network, which means that he now has two stations in his watch. According to Media Newser Philippines, a merger between GMA and Solar News is inevitable, unless Ang gives up partial ownership of Channel 9.

Ang’s ownership of both networks will certainly affect the fortunes of both parties. Since GMA News and Public Affairs is the more recognizable and more credible of the two, they will be more than happy to absorb Solar News into their department. And as far as viewers are concerned, Solar News remains an unproven commodity even after three years of continuous operation.

Then again, these are all possibilities and might be subject to change in the near future.

It is clear that the sun is definitely setting on Channel 9’s latest incarnation. As the ‘Solar’ name is quietly being retired from the brand, a new era in the history of the Radio Philippines Network is about to take place.


90 thoughts on “Is RPN-9 Destined to Return?

    • Their best years were during the Marcos years, prior to the infamous sequestration. Once they were sequestrated by Cory Aquino’s government, things went downhill, although the likes of Battle of the Brains, Pen Pen de Sarapen, NewsWatch, MariMar and Kwarta o Kahon kept them relevant until it’s too late.

      But the era with Eat Bulaga and John en Marsha remains RPN’s best.

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        And also, don’t forget “Champoy,” starring Subas Herrero (+) and Noel Trinidad, which was one of RPN’s top-raters during its heyday in the 1980s (until the show was axed in 1985 for a bunch of reasons).

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        I read in other blogs and comments that it was rumored that “Champoy” was cancelled in 1985 by Roberto Benedicto, then RPN 9 owner, because some of the show’s gags were allegedly not amusing to the Marcos regime, while it entertained the middle class, intellectuals, and masses of that time.

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        Not good.

        Anyway, still in the subject of “Champoy,” I saw in YouTube, since May 2011, video clips featuring some old episodes of the mentioned gag show, uploaded by “betaxfer1 (he also uploaded some old video clips of “PEP Talk,” “Ryan Ryan Musikahan,” “Uncle Bob & Friends,” “Champoy,” “Penthouse Live!,” and a reenactment of the old “Tawag ng Tanghalan” in the TV special of P&G Philippines’ 50th anniversary in 1985 (I don’t know what channel was it aired, but I knew it’s not on RPN 9 since the said footage did not feature RPN’s clock)).”

        Now, regarding about RPN News (News9 for Manila), according to a 1982 TV guide from Sun.Star Cebu (its exact date is Nov. 26, 1982) which I saw in the said newspaper’s library, RPN 9 Cebu used to air “Newswatch Cebuano Edition,” which airs on weekdays from 7:30-8:00 a.m. I don’t know, though, how long did that newscast last, year-wise.

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        But what really made RPN 9 the remarkable channel to watch during its heyday was the clock, which was usually situated on the lower-left corner of the TV screen, with the time being provided by Seiko or Citizen. The time of that clock was usually set in 24-hour mode (meaning to say, if the time is 12:19 p.m., it is shown as ‘0:19’), and was first used in the 70’s until 2007, after Solar began to blocktime the station. The RPN clock really served as a tool for Filipinos who want to know the time but doesn’t have a grandfather clock or a watch.

      • Although, the TV clock itself proved to be obsolete since people can still afford a cheap clock in their rooms. While RPN emphasized the need for time, it made no difference at all. Sorry, but that’s not the advantage for them.

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        And, if I’m not mistaken, it was RPN-9 who became the first Philippine free TV carrier of ‘Sesame Street,’ before it transferred to IBC-13, GMA-7, TV5, and now, Yey!.

  1. Nameless says:

    It’s so interesting to know that these kiddie programs will return on airwaves esp. Sesame, Pokemon & Care Bears as these shows became part of my elementary life. 🙂

    Pero parang nanggaling yata sa GMA ang mga proframs na ‘yan. Hmmm. Mukhang ramdam na nga ang possible merger ng 2 networks under Ang’s umbrella. Alalahanin lang ni Ang: may AM stations ang RPN na palugi din yata.

    Pero I hope matuloy na ang merger and eventually baka magkaroon din ang GMA ng sports division thru Solar.

  2. Ito po ang Nationwide TV Ratings noong July 2014 , ayon sa AGB Nielsen.
    1. ABS-CBN = 33.9%
    2. GMA 7 = 33. 4%
    3. TV5 = 11.5%
    4. GMA NEWS TV = 3.4%
    5. ABS-CBN Sports+ Action =1.5%
    6. Aksyon TV = 1.1%
    7. IBC 13 = 0.4%
    8. Solar News Channel = 0.2%
    Di pala nila kaya ng NEWS TV ang TV5 na solid No. 3 talaga at nag-improve ang TV Ratings ng Aksyon TV na dati di nila kaya umabot ng mahigit 1% noong year 2011-2012. Mas bumaba ang Ratings ng ABS Sports+Action kumpara sa Studio 23.

  3. elmer valencia says:

    Based on d philippine history of television rpn9 was d original number1 tv stations from 1960s to 1990s.headed by their great shows like superstar,bagong kampeon,budy en sol,young luv sweet luv,flordeluna,marimar,ma la del barrio,luz clarita,newswatch,arangkada balita,even john en marcha and eat bulaga,anime 1st come from them dragon ball,ben10,voltes5.if channel will become rpn9 for sure many will support pls bring back d rpn9 coz we miss it so much.

    • Actually that network, along with BBC and IBC, was controlled by the cronies of Marcos, so competition between the three networks was never a problem. Mapupunta naman kasi at the time ang earnings ng tatlong istasyon sa mga kaibigan ni Marcos. After all, they didn’t care who’s No. 1 between them.

      Once RPN was sequestered, however, their fortunes gradually fell, although the presence of MariMar in the mid-90s briefly gave them life. Pero the ownership of the government hurt RPN, and it only got worse once Solar acquired majority ownership and subsequently dropped the RPN name on-air.

      • Jake Jacinto says:

        And because RPN 9 was no. 1 in the 1970’s and 1980’s (as well as in the 90’s), there were a lot of advertisers. Truly, it was the real “masa” TV station since majority of those who watched RPN are the masses.

      • Jake Jacinto says:

        But aside from the masses, was RPN also viewed by the elite, class AB, and middle class during the network’s heyday?

      • Yes, especially during the Marcos years. RPN, IBC, GTV and BBC were the dominant networks of the time, and they don’t compete against each other since they were with the cronies of Marcos.

  4. elmer valencia says:

    Sana totoo n talaga n babalik n ang rpn9 will all new and great tv shows.sana i revive ulit nila ang battle of d brains,young love sweet love,newswatch,arangkada balta,or even budy en sol isama n rin nila ang thalia telenovela coz thalia made mark and history in philippine lagyan din ng sports shows.sana rpn9 could change d culture of philippine television n more on soap opera ang palabas.

    • They can revive RPN, but not the old shows you were suggesting. Basta yung NewsWatch (sorry Arangkada, but NewsWatch is the anchor of RPN’s news programs) pwede nilang ibalik, tapos some new shows to boot.

    • We don’t know. Kaya nga this was my personal suggestion to Solar News Channel, who appeared to have dropped the ‘Solar’ name to their newscasts and add a kid’s block as well.

      That doesn’t mean na babalik na uli ang RPN. This is just my take on the recent changes implemented by SNC.

  5. James Ty III says:

    Honestly, I stopped watching Solar News since the station dropped the “Solar” name in their newscasts. Wilson Tieng is realizing that putting up a news channel is no picnic.

    • AFAIK, all local shows on 9 are currently produced by Solar. The RPN name remains inactive on air, even though it is the official name of the network, and they have nothing to do with the production of Solar’s shows.

      Nothing is official yet, so wait for further announcements.

  6. James Ty III says:

    Starting August 23, the Solar News Channel will now be known as 9TV and 9NEWS will be the new name of the channel’s news organization. Wilson Tieng has reportedly let go of his stakes in the channel.

  7. francis says:

    Sana sumali sila s competition palakasin nila news and public affairs nila add din sila ng tagalog news show.lagyan ng sports show.palakasin ang kiddie shows plus add ng anime.and also provide competitive shows.we support u 9tv and we r waiting for big change of channel 9.

    • I don’t think that’s gonna happen anytime soon. With the intense competition among the major networks, the best that they can do for now is to establish a niche following, then they can starting thinking of expanding their programming.

  8. James Ty III says:

    When 9TV begins programming, the news reporters will say: “(name of reporter), 9News.”

    Also, the news programs like Sports Desk, Nightly News, Network News, Daybreak, etc. will retain their current titles. No 9TV added to the titles of these shows.

  9. James Ty III says:

    When 9TV begins programming, the reporters will say: (name of reporter), 9News.

    Also, no change in the title of their news shows like Daybreak, Nightly News, Network News, etc. No 9TV added to the titles.




    • Too bad that won’t happen now that Channel 9 is renamed 9TV. The renamed station will keep SNC’s news/info format, but added a kids’ block on weekend mornings.

      Also, masyadong marami nang entertainment stations sa bansa. Bringing the old RPN format back will not work. For now, the guys are 9TV are focusing on a specific group of people, and not the masses.

    • Hoax! There’s no American films on 9TV, just foreign documentaries.

      Wait a minute, you’re the one who tried to make Willie’s show after he left the airwaves. You’re gonna get blocked with your IP address with your false information.

      • Looks like some wanted to bring the old RPN back so bad that they are now posting hoaxes regarding its so-called ‘return’. These people just can’t leave the recently-rebranded station alone.

  12. rj says:

    I still remember when i was a kid during 80s time many tv stations are competing with all most d same format of tv programs specially entertainment shows abscbn,gma,abc now tv5,ibc and rpn9.i understand that d concept of 9tv is d same with solar news channel.but for me since they already change solar into 9tv a little bit they can produce some local tv shows specially in tagalog language thats actually good for d masa.

    • They’ll eventually do that, just not now. They’re still three days old and with more room to grow. And besides, sa niche muna ang focus ng 9TV para ma-test nila ang market.

  13. Jc says:

    (I hope I’m in the right place where I can talk about CNNPH) like I’ve said, CNNPH needs to power up their effort to be one of the well-organized CNN franchises. It’s been almost 6 months since they debuted, and the only development that I saw this month, is a new daily talk show entitled: Real Talk which premieres on September 7 at 4pm replacing the afternoon edition of Serbisyo All Access.

    • Sorry, but you’re at the wrong place again. Perhaps you should read this article first before you can comment on something more relevant. I don’t want you to be like Mr. Sunday who comments on something unrelated and only on specific topics.

      Now before ALC acquired Channel 9, we were hoping for the return of the old RPN-9. The RPN-9 that we know was destroyed by the sequestration of the government, the post-EDSA rise of ABS-CBN and GMA, and eventually the entry of Solar into the mix. Remember that. Not to mention the network’s flagship newscast in NewsWatch, which was on air for 40 years or so before it was scrapped in favor of Solar’s news programs. RPN-9 used to be a lively TV station. Now they’re a shell of their former self with that corporate takeover.

  14. Jake-jake Jacinto says:

    It’s also interesting to know that while RPN was on the verge of decline, it was able to air awards nights (Gawad Urian(?) is an example), since the New Vision 9 eras. This continued in the 1990s, even after New Vision 9 was rebranded again as RPN in 1994. Zim Cleanser and Farlin Baby Care Products were the primary sponsors of such TV specials.

  15. Jake-jake Jacinto says:

    During the Marcos years, RPN, aside from having the best quality programs of that time, had the country’s best producers, directors, and writers, most of them now with ABS-CBN.

  16. Jake-jake Jacinto says:

    What would be the scenario if “Superstar” and “John en Marsha” would transfer to ABS-CBN (upon the sequesteration of RPN-9 and its rebrand as “New Vision 9” in 1989)? (We already knew naman that “Superstar” moved to IBC-13 in 1989 as “The Legend Superstar (though short-lived),” while “John en Marsha” got cancelled in 1990.)

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