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Fixing Radyo5 (and AksyonTV) Under Miguel Belmonte

New man in charge: Miguel Belmonte will now run Radyo5 and AksyonTV, hoping to restore the credibility of both stations (Photo credit: The Philippine Star)

New man in charge: Miguel Belmonte will now run Radyo5 and AksyonTV, hoping to restore the credibility of both stations. (Photo credit: The Philippine Star)

TV5’s renovation goes beyond Channel 5.

A few weeks ago, From the Tube discussed the plans that Chot Reyes envisioned for TV5, which included the return of AniMEGA and the entry of director Brillante Mendoza to the fold. Now let’s focus on the renovation project of TV5’s sister stations AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM, both of which are now under the leadership of The Philippine Star CEO Miguel Belmonte.

Last year was a poor one for both stations, not only in coverage but also in programming. The plight of Radyo5 and AksyonTV was well-documented, from the departures of Martin Andanar and Cherie Mercado, to their inability to cover significant news-worthy events that other stations were deeply committed to.

Replacing erstwhile head Gladys Lana-Lucas with Miguel Belmonte serves as a first step to restore the news-gathering capabilities of both Radyo5 and AksyonTV. That said, here’s a look at both stations’ needs that Belmonte must address.

New Shows and New Hosts

Radyo5 really needs new hosts and new shows, period. The departures of Andanar, Mercado, Anthony Pangilinan and Benjie Felipe were deeply felt within the station, and Gladys Lana-Lucas’ inability to process replacements led to her dismissal.

This is one area that Belmonte must look at immediately, because from the looks of it, Radyo5 will never be equal to more established AM stations like DZMM, DZBB and DZRH. Heck, he can even sign a blocktime deal with another media outfit, similar to DZRJ 810 AM’s agreement with 8TriMedia.

Greater Commitment to Live Events

Radyo5 was essentially absent during important live events such as the hearings on extra-judicial killings and President Rodrigo Duterte’s public addresses. To do so, Belmonte must convince the hosts of Radyo5 to give way to events such as this in order to give its listeners an idea on what is going on (take note, Raffy Tulfo and Niña Taduran).

Although the PBA’s priority on the network could put an end to ongoing news coverage once it goes overtime, the least that Radyo5 can do is to prove that they are a worthy news-covering machine on FM radio. There may be some constraints, but covering the news on the spot is better than nothing at all.

Embrace TeleRadyo Format on AksyonTV

AksyonTV wastes a lot of time by airing TV shopping blocks and reruns of now-defunct shows during vacant time periods. So why not allot the time for a TeleRadyo-esque format instead, except during live sporting events.

Since 2011, AksyonTV has been simulcasting select Radyo5 programs. The time is perhaps now to fully integrate the TeleRadyo in AksyonTV, given that the network no longer intends to produce original programs like they did in the past.

Improve AksyonTV’s Power and Revenue

This is indeed the most important need of the station. AksyonTV has long been criticized for its poor signal and power, which was the primary reason why the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports and the PBA forced TV5 to air all of their games on VHF Channel 5 only.

Now under Belmonte, the time is now for AksyonTV to improve its facilities, power and reach to serve more viewers. But to do so, the station needs the backing of advertisers in order to provide much-needed revenue.

Miguel Belmonte’s role in restoring Radyo5 and AksyonTV will not be easy, given the extensive damage that both stations endured last year. That said, patience is a virtue, and if all the right buttons are pushed, then Radyo5 92.3 News FM and AksyonTV could return to prominence as soon as possible.

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News5 Loses Another Reporter to Duterte’s Staff, Plus Luchi’s Staying

Former News5 reporter Mia Reyes (third from left) will join President Rodrigo Duterte's staff as its assistant secretary for media relations. (Photo credit: Mia Reyes)

Former News5 reporter Mia Reyes (third from left) will join President Rodrigo Duterte’s staff as its assistant secretary for media relations. (Photo credit: Mia Reyes)

The losses continue to pile up for TV5.

Recently, Media Newser Philippines reported that TV5 reporter Mia Reyes will join President Rodrigo Duterte’s staff as the assistant secretary for media relations. Prior to the hiring, Mia was a beat reporter who covered the news within the Malacañang Palace.

Reyes joins Martin Andanar, Cherie Mercado, Ina Zara and Jun Loyola as former News5 talents-turned-Duterte staff members. News5 also lost DJ Sta. Ana, Benjie Felipe and Deah Regacho for various other reasons.

The departure of Mia Reyes is another huge blow to TV5’s embattled news division. With so much losses in the talent front, not to mention the many criticisms that the division has faced, it is clear that News5 is living on borrowed time.

To make matters worse, Media Newser Philippines also reported that News5 chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes decided to stay on amid rumors of her impending departure. Obviously, many were not happy with her decision to remain.

Despite her award-winning reputation in the documentary department, Luchi’s inability to lead News5 to greener pastures puts her in the hot seat more often. While she is an excellent storyteller, her leadership has always been questioned, whether due to News5’s overreliance on sensationalized news, or due to the talent surrounding her.

With sports aficionado Chot Reyes now handling the task of restoring order within TV5, the news division itself is in a dire need of a revamp. From the Tube previously discussed these proposals in a two-part series, but for whatever reason, not even these tips can help TV5 in the long run.

 

Indeed, many will agree that the future of News5 is not very bright. With so many talent leaving in bunches, not to mention the questionable approach in news reporting, how much time does News5 have left to redeem themselves?

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