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Tulfo Brothers’ Departure Leaves Radyo5 in a Tight Spot

The crisis within News5 reached a new level last week.

A few weeks ago, brothers Erwin and Ben Tulfo, and Ed Lingao were engaged in a war of words in both social media and in their respective programs. To make the long story short, here is how the story began.

Erwin’s brother Ben then defended him against Ed Lingao on his ‘Bitag Live’ program last June 20, 2017. The said video was quickly uploaded on the ‘Bitag’ YouTube page, and Ed later responded to Ben’s comments on Facebook.

However, in light of a personal tragedy involving Ed Lingao, Ben and his staff elected to remove the video. After that, Ben issued a public apology on social media.

Nevertheless, News5 management, led by Luchi Cruz-Valdes, were disappointed with the situation. On Friday, June 30, they posted this official statement condemning the controversy between the Tulfo brothers and Ed Lingao.

But by the time TV5 issued this statement, the damage has been done. On Thursday, June 29, Erwin announced his departure from Radyo5, and several hours later, brother Ben also called it quits.

While Ben quickly moved ‘Bitag Live’ to PTV-4, as of today, Erwin has yet to announce a new station of his own. Nevertheless, Erwin continues to appear alongside his brother and Alex Santos on ‘Kilos Pronto’, in addition to a Facebook-only broadcast called ‘Erwin Tulfo Live’.

As for Radyo5 92.3 News FM, they made some changes to their programming lineup in light of the departure of Ben and Erwin. The departed ‘Bitag Live’ was replaced by ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ which was then extended to two hours, while ‘Punto Asintado’ is now being handled by substitute anchors.

Unfortunately for Miguel Belmonte, the programming changes did little to mitigate this crisis. Radyo5 is already thin on talent, and with the Tulfo brothers (save for Raffy who remains under contract) now gone, the situation only got worse.

In fact, host Alex Tinsay cannot do it alone. While he is the regular host of ‘Aksyon Solusyon’, he has also pinched-hit for the Tulfo brothers in their programs, but with Ben and Erwin no longer in the fold, the challenge even got trickier.

So much so that Menchie Silvestre (host of ‘Alagang Kapatid’) and Niña Taduran (Raffy’s co-host on ‘Wanted sa Radyo’) are penciled in to take over ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ on the interim. But if Radyo5 were smart, there are others hosts who can fill in the void.

Take Cheryl Cosim for example. The host of ‘Serbisyong Kapatid’ and ‘Healthline with Cheryl Cosim’ has also hosted ‘Punto Asintado’ in the past, and with her current two programs in the same mold as ‘Aksyon Solusyon’, Radyo5 should consider giving her a slot on either program.

Maricel Halili, the host of ‘Iba Yung Pinoy’, is another option, having pinched-hit on ‘Punto Asintado’ on a few occasions. So is Lourd de Veyra, another occasional pinch-hitter on the show.

Ed Lingao, who has rarely, if not never, worked on radio, could also be a viable option, provided that he is allowed to return. Or they could welcome back the now-former DOTR spokesperson Cherie Mercado and revive ‘Trabaho Lang’ as a morning program, if she is allowed more time with her family.

Overall, Miguel Belmonte has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, but it will be up to him to deliver the goods. This is now a litmus test for Radyo5 92.3 News FM, so let’s see how will they play this out.

Otherwise they can just reformat into an easy listening station ala 96.3 Easy Rock. Simple as that.

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19 thoughts on “Tulfo Brothers’ Departure Leaves Radyo5 in a Tight Spot

      • Interesting suggestion. News5 is obviously thin on talent and adding those displaced by Martin Andanar’s regime should lessen the heavy load of its current talents. But that’s not enough, since Radyo5 is the one that is in dire need of shows and hosts. Unfortunately, Miguel Belmonte is doing nothing at all since his eyes are more focused on The Philippine Star than both Radyo5 and AksyonTV. Perhaps a new station manager is a must as well, one that is focused on Radyo5 and Radyo5 only.

    • That will only happen if his contract with TV5 expires. But as it stands, he’s still with TV5 and they can’t part ways with him at this point. Besides, he’s doing fine with Wanted sa Radyo and the pseudo-newscast Aksyon sa Tanghali, even with all the criticism thrown against him.

  1. At may nabasa akong report na 3am-11:15pm na ang operating hours ng Radyo5 on weekdays and even ditched overnight music programming in the process. Mukhang inevitable na ang fate ng Radyo5 sa ngayon.

    If only Brigada had a full-powered frequency in the Metro, iba na ang picture.

    Speaking of Brigada, their station in Cebu just became the #1 FM station in Metro Cebu, according to Nielsen.

    • Nakaka-miss na yung days na may Shalala sa hatinggabi. It’s obvious that Radyo5 has sunk into a new low. With a talent pool so thin, they had to do cost-cutting measures just to make ends meet, hence the shortened operating hours.

      Honestly, I’ve given up hope on this station. Its future is seriously in jeopardy.

    • If only Elmer Catulpos (Brigada’s founding owner) and Weng Dela Peña were aggressive enough to buy a full-powered FM frequency in Metro Manila, Brigada would step in and take advantage of this situation, but unfortunately, they’re still stuck at 104.7 out of Mt. Banoy in Batangas due to lack of any available FM frequency in the Metro.

      Radyo5 is now a lost cause. It might be a matter of time before MVP decides to give up and sell 92.3 to Brigada or any new player. Honestly, I would prefer Brigada since they already have a studio in Makati and a well-established news team and on-air personalities to begin with.

      • Without a full-time station manager, Radyo5 is living on borrowed time. So many areas that are erratic. It won’t be long before they finally sell the station or reformat into a purely music-oriented one.

  2. Jason says:

    No offense kay Cheryl pero sana iba naman at parang overworked na siya eh.
    An Ed Lingao -Maricel Halili show would be good.I really think that some of these radio shows should be atepping stone for their reporters para naman mas makilala sila.
    I wouldn’t mind Jeff Caparas and Roices Naguit having their own show.
    As for late night shows kung pwede sana nila kunin si Jojo A. for a radio show though. I miss having him on late nights.Magaling pa naman siyang host.

    • Before that, they really need a full-time station manager. Miguel Belmonte is too preoccupied with The Philippine Star and Gladys Lana-Lucas became too incompetent. I’d really want to see Ed Lingao fill that role on a full-time basis given his journalistic success. Besides, yung Aksyon lang ang ginagawa niya so why not give him a bigger role on radio.

      As for talent, Radyo5 has plenty of options. I don’t want to divulge further, but just in case, it’s either their veterans, their young reporters, or even the former talent from other networks. Simple as that. Yung late nights na mostly music? Give those to the former station DJs.

  3. Jason says:

    Sorry to separate this but just an update.
    They’ll be having two shows slated for the last weekend of July.
    Manindigan is a debate special on July 29 7pm.
    Turning Point is a brand new series which will be premiering on July 30 8:45pm.

    • I won’t be surprised if they run for only a few episodes. Realistically, News5 is all on the short-term TV-wise. Their KBO block is somewhat of a short-term project. Kaya was also a short-term project. The only non-newscast that mattered to them was ReAksyon. There’s just no depth on the organization whatsoever.

      • Jason says:

        Cost-cutting sucks. I think that’s it. Inabolish na nila yung entertainment division nila,they’re relying content providers/block timers for their entertainment side and are streamlining their operations. Samu’t saring cost-cutting measures ginawa na nila
        Ang sa akin lang sana naman may end game ito for News5 as a whole. In terms of a new direction for the news org. Kung wala naman patayin na lang nila.

      • I won’t be surprised if they go the blocktimer route for Radyo5 programs, similar to 8TriMedia’s agreement with DZRJ 810 AM. But like you said, the future is not on News5’s side. Every day seems like borrowed time for the news org.

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