news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Of CNNPH’s Newsroom Junior Edition and Other News Programs for Teens

News reporting is not always exclusive to adults.

When CNN Philippines announced that ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air starting this Saturday, it reminded this writer of the day when Philippine television used to have news programs hosted by underage boys and girls. While these shows were few and far between, they have at least made some valuable contributions to the world of media.

One most notable example was ‘5 and Up’. The Probe Productions-produced show ran for 10 years and was one of the standout shows of GMA Network during the ‘Rainbow Satellite’ era.

‘5 and Up’ was responsible for launching the careers of brothers Rodjun and Rayver Cruz, Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and Atom Araullo. Of the five, Atom was the only one who continued his career as a journalist, although he did have a directorial credit in the film ‘Citizen Jake’.

But before ‘5 and Up’ became a cult favorite among the youth in the 90s, ABS-CBN once had its own kids’ version of ‘TV Patrol’. While ‘Junior Patrol’ ran for only two years, it did produce current ABS-CBN News reporter Doland Castro, who now serves on the news division’s police beat.

The most recent attempt at a kids’ news program came from CNN Philippines’ mother network RPN-9. ‘Newswatch Junior Edition’ may have only lasted a few episodes in the late 2000s, but this show did manage to launch the career of blogger, model and TV host Janeena Chan.

Now it is CNN Philippines’ turn to try this seldom-used trick of using kids as news anchors. In ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ the network will have six teenage individuals who will tackle the world of news reporting.

The hosts are:

  • Dana Villano, 16
  • Emman Rivera, 16
  • Gabby Sandejas, 16
  • Isaac Dantes, 13
  • Janella Renner, 15
  • Nate Lopez, 14

Guided by the CNN Philippines’ team of anchors and reporters, these young boys and girls will have an opportunity to deliver the week’s latest local and international news, as well as sports, entertainment, weather, technology and lifestyle news. ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air on weekends at 8:00 a.m.

At the end of the day, they are still kids (or in the case of ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’, teens). But at least they should gain some first-hand experience at what it is really like in the cutthroat world of journalism (or showbiz for that matter).

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Mike Enriquez to Take Indefinite Medical Leave from GMA News Programs

“Excuse me po!”

One of Mike Enriquez’s signature catchphrases has taken a whole new meaning Wednesday night. The veteran GMA News personality revealed on ’24 Oras’ that he is under an indefinite medical leave due to a kidney disease and an incoming heart bypass operation next month.

Here is Mike’s full statement regarding his current condition.

“I am issuing this statement in response to a growing number of inquiries regarding my prolonged absence from the radio and television programs that I host on GMA.

I am currently on medical leave. I am being treated for kidney disease and I am scheduled to undergo a heart bypass operation in mid-September. My doctors have told me that two to four weeks after my surgery, I will be able to return to my normal duties. In the meantime, it is best that I rest and avoid stress to avoid any medical emergency before my bypass. While I am not yet back on the air, I continue to perform my functions as president of RGMA Network Inc. and as Consultant for Radio of GMA Network Inc.

I thank everyone for their expressions of support and wishes for good health, and most specially for their prayers. My doctors are good and caring and God is great!

I will be back!”

Mike has been absent from his radio and television shows since last July which prompted questions from the audience regarding his whereabouts. In the meantime, substitutes such as Joel Reyes Zobel, Ivan Mayrina and Arnold Clavio have replaced him temporarily on ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, ‘Sino?’, ’24 Oras’ and ‘Imbestigador’ respectively.

A former disc jockey (his on-air name was Baby Michael), Mike Enriquez has been one of the key figures of GMA News since the late 1990s. He and rival ABS-CBN News anchor Noli de Castro are considered the faces of early morning radio and television primetime news in the Philippines.

Mike is also the self-proclaimed ‘Sumbungan ng Bayan’ ever since ‘Imbestigador’ was launched in 2000. And as mentioned earlier in his statement, Mike is also at the helm of RGMA Network, supervising the operations of Super Radyo AM and Barangay FM radio stations in the country.

From the Tube would like to wish Mike Enriquez a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon.

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digital television, entertainment, Philippines, television

By Popular Demand: ABS-CBN TVPlus Adds New Channels

Take it away, Coco Martin.

The ‘Ang Probinsyano’ star (along with Sarah Geronimo) has been the face of the ABS-CBN TVPlus commercials since the device made its public debut three years earlier. And after selling over five million units, viewers and purchasers will get a little more bang for their buck thanks to new exclusive channels that TVPlus launched last Monday.

The five new channels are as follows:

O Shopping

The only permanent addition to the list, O Shopping is a home TV shopping channel that resulted from a joint venture between ABS-CBN and CJ ENM Company Limited. The channel was launched in 2013 and has since made its presence felt across various media.

Aside from its current place on TVPlus Channel 8, O Shopping can still be seen on ABS-CBN (Channel 1 on TVPlus), Yey! (Channel 4 on TVPlus) and Knowledge Channel (Channel 5 on TVPlus) during the late-night hours. In addition, O Shopping can be seen on BEAM as one of its subchannels.

Asianovela Channel

As the name suggests, this channel currently airs Asian dramas and movies dubbed in Filipino and uncut. The Asianovela Channel can be accessed on TVPlus Channel 9.

Some of the programs aired on the Asianovela Channel were also previously broadcast on ABS-CBN as part of the First and True Home of Asianovelas block. The channel also introduces some never-before-aired series as well, albeit infrequently.

Movie Central

For those who want to see Hollywood films aired in its original English language, Movie Central is the place to watch. The channel is currently found on TVPlus Channel 10.

Movie Central airs a wide variety of genres, ranging from action, comedy, drama, romance to suspense, animation, adventure and sci-fi flicks. It is the digital TV equivalent to HBO and Fox Movies on cable.

Jeepney TV

Originally seen exclusively on SkyCable since 2012, Jeepney TV will now be accessed on TVPlus as well. Jeepney TV can be seen on TVPlus Channel 11.

The channel is home to ABS-CBN’s classic programs that viewers can relive over and over again. It also airs more recent episodes of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs programs by demand.

MYX

Another SkyCable exclusive channel, MYX was originally introduced to TVPlus as a blocktimer on the Kapamilya Box Office platform (TVPlus Channel 7). Now it can be seen 24/7 on TVPlus Channel 12.

MYX is a music channel that airs local and foreign music videos past and present. It also broadcasts non-music programs that showcase the latest trends in pop culture.

With the exception of O Shopping, the other four channels will be seen on a free trial basis until December 31, 2018. In addition, these five new channels will be available only to viewers in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Metro Cebu, with a few other areas to be rolled out soon.

Regarding the future of these new channels, it will be up to ABS-CBN management to decide the next course of action. For now, enjoy the latest additions that ABS-CBN TVPlus can offer.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, radio, television

FTT’s Thoughts on Journalists Running for the Senate

The 2019 mid-term elections is still over a year away.

This early, prognosticators are starting to look at potential candidates who are poised to take over half of the Senate seats come July of next year. And not surprisingly, there are a few names from the broadcast industry that were mentioned as potential candidates for one of the twelve Senate seats available.

Take for instance Jiggy Manicad. The long-time GMA News reporter and anchor is being considered as a possible candidate for a Senate seat according to Senate President Koko Pimentel.

Consequently, Jiggy announced his departure from GMA News within days of the report, saying that he wants to jump into the ‘next level’ of public service. But he was not the only news personality to be mentioned as a possible Senate candidate.

In a recent Pulse Asia survey, PTV-4 news anchor Erwin Tulfo was listed in the top 12 of potential top candidates for a seat in the Senate. So far, Erwin has yet to comment on the matter.

Journalists running for public office is nothing new in the Philippines. Perhaps one can look at the two most successful journalists-turned-politicians of the recent past.

Noli de Castro, the ‘Kabayan’ of primetime television news, ran as Senator and won in 2001. Three years later, he became then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s running-mate for Vice President and became victorious, serving for another six years before resuming his career as a news anchor.

Another ABS-CBN News alumnus, Loren Legarda, also ran for a Senate seat in 1998 and won. She has since earned another two terms at the Senate in 2007 and 2013.

But not all journalists were destined for political office. Jay Sonza, for instance, twice tried to run for Senator but failed to earn a seat each time.

That said, any journalist who enters the world of politics, particularly in a highly-scrutinized position such as the Senate, must be well-rehearsed to handle the demands of the campaign and their role if elected. If they do not have what it takes, chances are they will not get the majority votes from the masses.

The election period is still over a year away, so there is a lot of time for the likes of Jiggy Manicad and Erwin Tulfo to consider the risks and rewards of the political arena. Good luck, not just with them, but also to any journalist who want to join the bandwagon.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Defying Father Time: Tina Monzon-Palma’s Return to The World Tonight

There is somewhat of a renewed vibe within ‘The World Tonight’.

In early January, viewers were surprised when broadcast legend Tina Monzon-Palma returned from her lengthy sabbatical to resume her duties as anchor of ‘The World Tonight’. It was as if she never left the confines of the ABS-CBN News Channel; after all, the network continued to feature Tina in their station IDs in spite of her absence.

But for the first time since Angelo Castro Jr.’s death six years ago, Tina would have a full-time co-anchor on her side.

That co-anchor was Tony Velasquez, who had been promoted to the position in 2017 and had been anchoring the newscast by himself in Tina’s absence. The two were no strangers to each other; Tony having previously handled some of the national and world news segments for several years.

Getting a partner of Tony’s caliber helped alleviate the pressure off of Tina’s back. Not only that, with ‘The World Tonight’ having cut its running time back to 30 minutes, Tina was no longer required to do the heavy lifting.

Still, there were some occasions in which she stuttered in the middle of a newscast, which is perhaps an obvious excuse for an aging news anchor like her. Regardless, Tina still possesses a sharp mind harnessed through years of experience, but at this point of her career, even she cannot prevent the ravages of time.

While Tina did return to ‘The World Tonight’, she did not resume her position as host of ‘Talkback’. Instead, the show was given on a full-time basis to Karmina Constantino, with Christian Esguerra as the substitute in her absence.

Given her age, it was only the right thing for Tina to just focus on ‘The World Tonight’. But for loyal viewers who have missed her immeasurable presence on the desk, it was worth the price of admission.

It remains to be seen if Tina Monzon-Palma can still be able to hold her fort amid a youth movement in Philippine broadcast news. But as long as someone of her caliber is present and willing to pass the torch to the future, everything will be just fine.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Finally: ABS-CBN Newscasts Move to High Definition

Here is some good news for Kapamilya viewers.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, newscasts on ABS-CBN Channel 2 began to air on 16:9 high definition. The conversion began with the 10:00 a.m. ‘News Patrol’, followed by the network’s flagship newscasts ‘TV Patrol’ (both weekend and weeknight editions) and ‘Bandila’ (both DZMM TeleRadyo and ABS-CBN editions).

Here is a comparison of ‘News Patrol’ in standard definition (pre-April 1) and in high definition (since April 1) in the following videos.

News Patrol in 4:3 standard definition (courtesy of ABS-CBN News)

News Patrol in 16:9 high definition (courtesy of ABS-CBN News)

The full implementation of ABS-CBN newscasts in HD marked the latest step in the network’s ongoing conversion to this new television technology. However, the changeover was not an easy one.

When ABS-CBN launched its 16:9 high definition feed in October 2015, only its entertainment programs were able to adopt this new technology. As such, ABS-CBN News programs remained in 4:3 standard definition, and whenever it was shown on ABS-CBN HD, black pillarboxes can be seen.

However, the news division was given a glimmer of hope in March 2016 when the ABS-CBN News Channel premiered its own HD feed. This enabled ABS-CBN News to utilize some of its newly-purchased HD cameras for live reports.

Despite that, Channel 2’s newscasts remained in 4:3 SD, mainly to compensate for the regional outlets’ slow adoption to HD technology. But as the impending switch to high definition became imminent, ABS-CBN realized the need for a change.

Thus came the launch of ABS-CBN’s high definition newscasts on Easter Sunday. It was an odd move to say the least, but it was perfect timing for the network since its news operations on television and radio resume around this time.

As mentioned earlier, ‘News Patrol’, ‘TV Patrol’ and ‘Bandila’ are now seen in 16:9 high definition, but they are not the only newscasts that made the move. Even DZMM TeleRadyo’s ‘Headline Pilipinas’ was also converted to 16:9 HD.

But not all newscasts changed over to the new standard. ‘TV Patrol”s regional versions continue to air in 4:3 SD, as are a majority of ABS-CBN Regional programs and even DZMM TeleRadyo.

Still, there is plenty of time for ABS-CBN to implement the new high definition standard to DZMM and the network’s regional affiliates. But for now, enjoy watching ‘TV Patrol’, ‘Bandila’ and all ABS-CBN newscasts in crystal clear 16:9 HD.

ABS-CBN HD is available exclusively on SkyCable channel 167 and to premium access subscribers on iWant TV. ANC HD is available exclusively on SkyCable channel 182 and to premium access subscribers on iWant TV.

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