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Three’s a Crowd: Aksyon Tonite Becomes a Three-Anchor Team

Looks like the solo anchor setup on ‘Aksyon’ newscasts is not working for News5.

Last Monday, News5 decided to once again revamp ‘Aksyon Tonite’, adding erstwhile weather reporters Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas to the newscast alongside Ed Lingao. Both Lia and Marga were intended to be ‘anchors in training’ as far as News5 is concerned.

This marked the first time that ‘Aksyon Tonite’ went with a three-anchor setup. Past lineups of the newscast featured either a two-anchor setup (Paolo Bediones/Ed Lingao and Cheryl Cosim) or a solo anchor setup (Ed Lingao).

The reaction to the move was mostly negative. They argued that Lia and Marga were the latest in a line of ‘entertainers masquerading as journalists’ (EMAJ), as the two lacked any journalistic background owing to their past experience as sports reporters (Lia for Solar Sports, Marga for ABC-5).

While Lia and Marga’s addition to ‘Aksyon Tonite’ serves to develop the two into well-rounded journalists, it is clear that News5 is once again dooming themselves with these questionable moves. A rundown of other late primetime newscasts on major privately-owned networks should show the foolishness of News5’s decision.

  • Bandila (ABS-CBN) – Julius Babao, Karen Davila, Ces Drilon
  • Saksi (GMA) – Pia Arcangel, Arnold Clavio
  • Newsroom (CNN Philippines) – Mitzi Borromeo
  • State of the Nation (GMA News TV) – Jessica Soho
  • Eagle News International (Net 25) – Alma Angeles, Sam Cepeda
  • Why News (UNTV News and Rescue) – Gerry Alcantara, Darlene Basingan, Diego Castro III
  • The World Tonight (ANC) – Tina Monzon-Palma

The list above shows that all listed anchors are indeed legitimate journalists. Too bad for News5 and its head Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

Going down the EMAJ route just to revamp ‘Aksyon Tonite’ should serve as a way to destroy its once-credible aura. When the newscast was anchored by Cheryl Cosim and Ed Lingao, many praised it for its emphasis on hard news, which helped restore its credibility that was lost during Paolo Bediones’ time.

Now that they promoted Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas to serve alongside Ed Lingao, expect that praise to turn against ‘Aksyon Tonite’. They may be added just to gain experience, but unless they grow and learn quickly, they might become the next Menchu Macapagal or Hillary Isaac.


13 thoughts on “Three’s a Crowd: Aksyon Tonite Becomes a Three-Anchor Team

    • I see. The name change is hardly noticed, since the Nightly News name had been in use for a long time now. Anyway, the 9:00 p.m. Newsroom is being anchored by Mitzi Borromeo, while the 8:00 a.m. Newsroom is being anchored by Amelyn Veloso, for clarification’s sake. Thanks for pointing it out.

  1. Jose Tiamson says:

    I have to say it now that News 5 is the new home of EMAJ. And I have to agree with you, the network is going nowhere. They are just like a organization who is trying to hit a home run right away but failed otherwise, TV5 is an example of it.

    • They should’ve given Lia and Marga reportorial duties instead of placing them in the hot seat as anchors. That way they were able to sharpen their journalistic skills. Look at one-time child actor Trish Roque; she was assigned as a reporter first before putting her chops as an anchor. That was a good example. Not the case for Lia and Marga.

      It’s clear that LCV made a bonehead move. The losses on her front are becoming more difficult to overcome, and these desperate decisions are making it worse.

  2. No wonder. Even Media Newser would be pissed and TV5 will remain as the worst news organization despite its pro-Duterte stance, thanks to EMAJs.

    No wonder why News5 is already backwards since 2010 and the whole network itself is already struggling with viewers with the sports-heavy content.

    • Right now, they don’t care about competition. They just want to distinguish themselves and have fun. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with their newscasts, since it continues to employ a ‘masa’-oriented style we see on ABS and GMA, not to mention hiring EMAJs to greatly emphasize sensationalized reporting.

      If they want to distinguish themselves, just drop the ‘masa’ style of newscasts and go with the ANC and CNNPH style of reporting. I really don’t understand the motives of LCV these days.

  3. Jason says:

    Kailangan talaga na ng mga bagong reporters ang News5. Feeling ko kasi kapag napromote yung mga batikang journalists like Maricel Halili or Roices Naguit(pinch hitters lang sila kapag wala sina Cheryl, Raffy or Ed) wala ng gagawa ng mga field reports.And since hindi naman nag-field training sila Lia and Marga, gawing news anchor hanggat makakuha sila ng mga COMPETENT AND REAL journalists(whether new graduates or old-timers) kasi ang daming reporters nang nawala na.

    • Jason says:

      In addition to that, The Aksyon Prime and Aksyon Tonite suggestion you had was rather good. If TV5 really wanted to be an alternative station, a 9PM telecast would be very distinct and it would merge two good journalists with Ed and Luchi and it can run for an hour or one hour and a half(If you have a newscast that would always be cut by around the games start, it’s always a bad sign). As for the dead air run a sports-oriented show since it’s sandwiched by the games.
      But sadly we are not executives for said channel and this suggestion will likely be neglected.

      • Exactly. However, for the purposes of informative opinion, an article about this could still be in store.

        TV5 badly needs new blood, period. However, Lia and Marga are not the right choices. News5 would’ve been wise to make even more drastic changes rather than putting these two non-journalistic individuals in the hot seat.

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