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Another Weekend Shuffle on GMA

Sen. Bong Revilla’s ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ is moving to the Sunday morning slot, one of several changes that GMA implemented on its weekend lineup.

GMA’s ‘Startalk’, the longest-running showbiz talk show, returns to the Saturday slot at 3:30 p.m. today. However, the move of ‘Startalk’ is just one of several lineup changes made to GMA’s weekend slate of programs.

Suspense series ‘Tales of Horror’ will air every Saturday and Sunday. The series is basically similar to another GMA program in ‘Asian Horror Stories’ (formerly ‘True Horror Stories’), in which horror flicks are featured. ‘Tales of Horror’ airs every Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ and before ‘Startalk’, and every Sunday after ‘Asian Horror Stories’ and before ’24 Oras Weekend’.

Sitcom ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ will now air after ’24 Oras Weekend’, as the game show ‘Picture Picture’ moves to Sunday nights following the said newscast. An earlier timeslot for ‘Vampire’ means that the ABS-CBN sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’ will now face the Vic Sotto-starred sitcom every night, while ‘Picture Picture’ will be up against ‘Goin’ Bulilit’.

Movie block ‘GMA Blockbusters’ moves from Saturday afternoons to replace both ‘Picture Picture’ and ‘Reporters’ Notebook’. The movie block airs after ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ and before ‘Magpakailanman’. Meanwhile, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ was moved to Thursday afternoons in GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, leaving ‘I-Witness’ as the sole Saturday night public affairs program.

And finally, the educational program ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ has found a new timeslot. The Bong Revilla-hosted program will now be seen on Sunday mornings, as part of a quartet of educational programs that include ‘Aha!’, ‘Born to Be Wild’, and ‘I-Bilib’.

Looking at GMA’s weekend programming lineup, there are some strong and weak points to consider. Moving ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ to Sunday mornings will be a huge boost for the program, as it will now attract young and informative viewers. And with ‘Aha!’, ‘Born to Be Wild’ and ‘I-Bilib’ preceding it, viewership of ‘Kap’s’ will definitely help its cause.

Over at the nighttime slot, an additional hour of ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’, while not favorable to some, will benefit a portion of the viewers who are in need of more intelligent programming. ‘KMJS’, one of GMA’s stronger programs, is up against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Rated K’, and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’.

Meanwhile, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ and ‘Tales of Horror’ are intended to by the network as ‘stopgap programs’, meaning they currently air on a short-term basis while a new program is in the works. In the case of Sunday’s edition of ‘Tales of Horror’, its possible replacement may be an upcoming dance program featuring Marian Rivera.

And then there is ‘Sunday All-Stars’, now relegated to 1:50 p.m. after the transfer of ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’. Having reduced its airtime and crew, it is clear that ‘Sunday All-Stars’ is nowhere close to the level that ‘ASAP’ currently enjoys. And a later timeslot only makes the situation even worse.

In what has become a recurring theme in the last few years, GMA restructures its weekend lineup in hopes of gaining viewers’ interest. And again, will this new lineup pay off? Only time will tell.

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GMA Reformats Afternoon Prime with the Addition of Public Affairs Programs

Starting with ‘Alisto’ last May 26, GMA’s Public Affairs programs began to air on the teleserye-dominated ‘Afternoon Prime’ block.

Nearly two years ago, ABS-CBN decided to place their news and current affairs programs (a.k.a. ‘Pinoy True Stories’) in the afternoon slot. Soon after, they placed ‘Banana Nite’ in an earlier timeslot following their late-night telecast ‘Bandila’. At the time, I derided their decision to place ‘Banana Nite’ following their news program, simply because ABS-CBN’s late night public affairs programs do not measure up to the standards set by GMA’s award-winning counterparts.

As time wore on, however, the Kapamilya network’s decision appears to have paid off. ‘Pinoy True Stories’, which today consists of ‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ and ‘Red Alert’, enjoyed ratings of 10% or better, mainly due to higher viewership in the afternoon compared to the late night hours. In addition, the equally high ratings of ABS-CBN’s teleseryes are also helping the program’s cause.

The success of ‘Pinoy True Stories’ prompted GMA to make their own changes in the ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, something I first envisioned in an article back in December. The end result is a reformatted ‘Afternoon Prime’ that now includes five public affairs programs: ‘Alisto!’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The newly-reassigned programs started airing last May 26, beginning with ‘Alisto!’.

On Mondays, ‘Alisto!’, hosted by Arnold Clavio, tackles various crimes, natural disasters, man-made accidents, and other life-threatening incidents. On Tuesdays, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos, features famous individuals and their real life stories. Then on Wednesdays, ‘Power House’, hosted by Kara David, documents the lives of powerful people by showcasing their properties and their prized possessions while talking about their normal lives.

On Thursdays, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, hosted by Jiggy Manicad and Maki Pulido, investigates a wide variety of stories that affect the Filipino society. And on Fridays, ‘Love Hotline’, hosted by Jean Garcia, spotlights individuals in the need of love advice.

GMA’s afternoon public affairs programs should give viewers a welcome break from the tear-jerking drama series of years past. But more importantly, it should help these programs gain some much-needed exposure from a bigger audience, considering the likes of ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ were regular winners in various international award-giving bodies.

It remains to be seen whether or not these programs will help GMA return to form in the afternoons. But for now, this is a good decision for GMA to bring them out of late nights and into the viewer-rich afternoon slot.

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1986: A Turning Point in Philippine Media

The late June Keithley, along with husband Angelo Castro Jr., were instrumental in bravely covering the EDSA Revolution and the eventual inauguration of President Corazon Aquino.

Today marks the 28th anniversary of the People Power Revolution. In commemoration of the event, this article will focus on the year 1986, a year that marked a new era in Philippine media history.

Before 1986, media in the Philippines was virtually dominated by the cronies of President Ferdinand Marcos. The most prominent of these networks were the Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (BBC-2), and the Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS-9; later Radio Philippines Network). The now-People’s Television Network (PTV-4) and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) were also established during Martial Law. The only non-crony owned network at the time was GMA, which was sold by Bob Stewart to Felipe Gozon and operated under limited three-month permits. Some radio stations were also given permission to air, provided that they avoid airing any anti-Marcos statements.

However, certain events in Philippine history forever changed the media industry. The soon-to-be Kapuso network was the only station to cover the Ninoy Aquino assassination, and wife Cory’s declaration to run for the presidency. The defections of Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel V. Ramos from the Marcos regime was also covered by GMA. Channel 7’s brave stand was only the beginning, though.

Radio Veritas followed GMA’s lead by broadcasting Jaime Cardinal Sin’s message, urging people from all walks of life to flood the Murphy and Greenhills sections of EDSA in an effort to protect Enrile and Ramos. When Veritas was seized by the Marcos troops, Radyo Bandido (DZRJ 810) took over, with real-life couple June Keithley and Angelo Castro, Jr. broadcasting the proceedings.

Meanwhile, a broadcast of President Marcos’ press conference was aired on Channels 4 and 9, only to be cut off the air by the rebels. By this time, Marcos’ grip on power was slipping away, although he made a final official TV appearance as president when GMA and IBC covered his inauguration, which like Channels 4 and 9 were also invaded and cut off by the rebels.

While the inauguration of Corazon Aquino at Club Filipino was preserved on videotape, it was unclear if any network in the Philippines aired the said event. Nevertheless, with the departure of Ferdinand Marcos from Malacanang, the freedom of the press was restored, and with it came the return of ABS-CBN and the sequestration of Channels 4, 9 and 13.

The year 1986 was a period of change and progress in the Philippine media industry. The once-censored media is gone, and with it came a more free-wheeling and conscious approach to broadcasting, although it remains subject to various regulations by the Kapisanan ng Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Even with the media now more widespread than ever, the lessons of Martial Law and EDSA will never be forgotten, and the experiences of each outlet will continue to have a huge impact on the industry in the years to come.

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Igan is No Talk Show Host

 

In contrast to Arnold Clavio’s jovial look on this TV billboard for ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’, some episodes continue to display his more serious news reporting side in the midst of national issues.

Since Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged much of Visayas last week, the GMA News TV program ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio‘ went serious in discussing the typhoon. The TWAC band was not present, and neither were the assigned special guests. The last two TWAC episodes went with a news reporting approach, featuring interviews with various experts.  Turns out I was not a fan of the more serious version of TWAC.

Arnold Clavio, the program’s host, is better suited as a news anchor than a talk show host. The reason why News TV decided to assign Clavio to a talk show was to showcase his fun side. But as it turns out, his heart remains news reporting, and in some episodes of TWAC, he decided to eschew the program’s talk show approach for serious news reporting, especially during nationwide disasters and conflicts.

In my opinion, GMA made the wrong decision. TWAC may be on the air for three years now, but it’s hard to fathom why Clavio continues to move back to his news anchor persona when his self-titled program was designed mainly as a late night talk show a la ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno‘. ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’ is a joke, and it deserves to be axed.

If GMA were to produce its own late night talk show, why not bring back Jojo Alejar and his ‘Medyo Late Night’ band? Ever since Jojo A. and his late night talk show took a bow on TV5 last September, the television industry is still searching for a new weeknight talk show featuring monologues and special guests. Even though TV5’s ‘What’s Up, Doods?’ with Edu Manzano qualifies as such, it only airs once a week. And television programs of late portray a more serious tone than in previous years. So the need for such a talk show becomes even more pronounced.

In the meantime, ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’ will remain on the air, because ‘Igan’ is such a popular figure of late in the world of broadcast journalism. Popular with the fact that he grilled Janet Lim-Napoles’ lawyer Alfredo Villamor on ‘Unang Hirit’, which of course was criticized on social media and even earned him an MTRCB warning. But for some reason TWAC has become an exhibition for Clavio’s two personas: one as a jovial talk show host, and the other as a no-nonsense news anchor. And the clash of two worlds is not good for television.

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In 100 Words: Million People March Part 2

Tomorrow will be the second installment of the Million People March, an event in which rallyists voice their anger and discontent against Pork Barrel. The first Million People March was held at the Quirino Grandstand, and attracted nearly a million protesters. Tomorrow’s event will be held at Ayala Avenue, Makati, and will start at 3:00 p.m, with the hope that they can attract the upper class and white collar workers into the march.

Heavy traffic is expected within the streets of Paseo de Roxas, Arnaiz, Chino Roces, Gil Puyat, Makati Avenue and EDSA. Fair weather is likely to occur tomorrow, but bringing various rain gear is still a must in case of rain. The protest will again provide an opportunity for protesters to shout against greed and corruption in the country.

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