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News5 Needs a Revamp (Part II)

The problems surrounding TV5 has also spread to the news department.

In Part I, FTT discussed the various dilemmas that surrounded News5 in recent months. These problems range from questionable personnel decisions and content criticisms to programming issues.

Now on Part II, we discuss what steps are needed to resuscitate News5 from its doldrums. These solutions may be risky for the division, but in the long term, it should help them regain their former glory.

With that, here are the following ways to fix News5:

Hire and Promote Younger Reporters

News5 really needs some young blood to shore things up. With that in mind, an aggressive recruiting plan is needed to acquire younger journalists (preferably fresh graduates from mass communications and journalism courses) who could help them in the long term.

Of course, it would be best to avoid the so-called ‘entertainers masquerading as journalists’ (EMAJ) at all costs. If so, demote them to reporting showbiz news.

In addition to that, they may need to promote some of their long-time reporters to anchor the ‘Aksyon’ newscasts on a regular or a temporary basis. Reporters like Maricel Halili, Renz Ongkiko, Maeanne Los Baños, France Noguera, Carla Lim and Trish Roque could get some airtime as anchors in the near future.

However, that will only be possible if News5 does something drastic to ‘Aksyon’. Which leads to this much-needed solution.

Reformat ‘Aksyon’ (save for ‘Aksyon Tonite’)

For the most part, ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ and ‘Aksyon Prime’ are similar to the newscasts of ABS-CBN and GMA: mostly sensationalized in nature. This is contrast to ‘Aksyon Tonite’, whose content is more on hard news.

Getting rid of the sensationalized reports and focusing more on hard news should be a priority for News5 in restructuring the ‘Aksyon’ brand. Of course, a personnel shuffle is needed as well; after all, no one wants to be the next Raffy Tulfo, who turned ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ into a ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ in newscast form.

Find someone equal to ‘Aksyon Tonite”s Ed Lingao and Cheryl Cosim, and a more reenergized ‘Aksyon’ newscasts are ready to go. But if TV5 wants to make their news available 24/7, they need to go to this route.

Establish an All-News Channel on Cignal

AksyonTV’s glory days are long gone. The former 24-hour all-Filipino news channel is now airing more sporting events than ever, and TV5 may need to give its sister channel a much-needed rebrand (preferably renaming it as the Sports5 Network or AKTV).

A news channel is still a necessity though. But instead of airing it on free TV like before, what TV5 needed now is a Cignal exclusive news channel, complete with the simulcasts of all Radyo5 programs, ‘Aksyon’ newscasts and public affairs shows from TV5 (don’t confuse it with Bloomberg TV Philippines, as it is strictly a business news channel).

In order to do that, however, more shows on Radyo5 and TV5 are needed. Which leads to:

Create More Shows on Radyo5 and TV5

Radyo5 92.3 News FM may be the only news-oriented FM station in the country, but its programming is still a far cry from that of AM radio counterparts DZBB and DZMM. With that in mind, the station needs to add more programs in addition to hiring new hosts.

The same can be said to TV5, whose only active public affairs shows are ‘Alagang Kapatid’ and ‘ReAksyon’. Adding new shows could take a while, however, since the network is busy managing the coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

These solutions should help News5 regain its former glory. But rebuilding is not easy, however, so all it needs is patience, perseverance and faith to get the job done.

News5 has a potential to be a great news organization. However, with all the problems they countered, it’s easy to see why they’re still lagging behind the others.

Hopefully they do this right as soon as possible. The fate of News5 is on the management’s hands.

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News5 Needs a Revamp (Part I)

The problems surrounding TV5 has also spread to the news department.

Within two months, News5 lost two of its regular anchors to the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. In early June, Martin Andanar was appointed secretary of the Presidential Communication and Operations Office, then just recently, Cherie Mercado accepted the post of spokesperson by the Department of Transportation.

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The task given to me by President Rody Duterte, to bring our government media agencies back to its good old glory days, is colossal. This requires a clear vision, 100% dedication, extraordinary capacity, political will and the grit to fight inefficiencies caused by corruption. Difficult as it may be, I wholeheartedly accepted the challenge to serve our 16th President and our Country. Now, I'm in the process of hiring the best, the brightest and the boldest. My friends, I ask for your fervent prayers and support because the road ahead will be long and rough. Thank you President Digong for the full trust and confidence. It is truly an honor to be in your cabinet. Like what President Digong always says again and again, "STOP". Yes I will do everything to STOP corruption at the Presidential Communication and Operations Office. That's my commitment. #DU30 #Stop #ChangeIsComing

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Martin had been the face of News5 for many years, having served as an anchor and executive, as well as the voice of Radyo5 92.3 News FM. On the other hand, Cherie was a holdover from ABC 5 during the ownership of Tonyboy Cojuangco, having been employed by the network for over a decade.

Ironically, their departures were felt by the Tulfo brothers themselves. Since Martin’s departure, Erwin Tulfo has become the sole host of his Radyo5 program ‘Punto Asintado’, while brother Raffy remained the lone anchor of ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ following Cherie’s departure (though at times he was paired with usual weather reporter Marga Vargas).

In addition, Cherie’s radio program ‘Trabaho Lang’ was cancelled following her resignation. That said, it was clear to News5 that their decision to leave for the government is a bitter pill to swallow.

But their departures are not the only reason why News5 is at an all-time low. Programming, content and questionable personnel decisions have become the Achilles’ heel of the division for a long time, and it dragged TV5 further down once they underwent a total housecleaning.

For instance, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, the newscast anchored by Raffy Tulfo, borders more towards sensationalized news. In fact, the show goes as far as to be considered a ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ in newscast form, mainly due to the inclusion of the ‘Itimbre Mo Kay Tulfo’ segment.

In contrast, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ anchors Ed Lingao and Cheryl Cosim have done a great job minimizing sensationalized news in favor of national issues. That said, it’s hard to fathom why ‘Aksyon”s other newscasts failed to follow the example set by ‘Aksyon Tonite’.

Radyo5 92.3 News FM also has its own share of problems, due to the presence of vacant timeslots. The fact that they lacked any capable personnel to host its programs is a clear sign that the only news-centric FM radio station in the country is on the rocks.

The lack of public service and commentary programs on TV5 are also glaring. The only such programs that currently air on TV5 right now are ‘ReAksyon’ and ‘Alagang Kapatid’, with ‘History with Lourd’ and ‘Public Atorni’ airing reruns.

Their hiring of ‘EMAJs’ (entertainers masquerading as journalists) have also affected the division. Let’s face it, no one would want guys like Jun Sabayton, Lourd de Veyra, Grace Lee and Shawn Yao to man the network’s news coverage.

Finally, AksyonTV’s decision to end most of its Radyo5 simulcasts in favor of blocktimers such as ‘EZ Shop’, ‘Shop TV’ and ‘Shop Japan’ is a clear sign that News5 is no longer intent on sustaining the embattled channel. That said, AksyonTV could be on the verge of becoming a predominantly sports channel in a similar vein as ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

So what urgent plans are needed for News5 to regain its old glory? Find out this Thursday on Part II of this article.

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In 150 Words: Alagang Kapatid Returns

‘Alagang Kapatid’ returns this Sunday on TV5, with a radio version airing later today on Radyo5 92.3 News FM and AksyonTV. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

After a three-year absence, ‘Alagang Kapatid’ is returning to the small screen.

The comebacking TV5 public service program will air new episodes starting this Sunday. Hosted by Cheryl Cosim, ‘Alagang Kapatid’ will feature stories of hope and determination from individuals and communities in need, with the Alagang Kapatid Foundation providing urgent assistance in the process.

The original series first aired from 2011 to 2012, and was a weekend morning program that went up against GMA’s ‘Pinoy MD’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Salamat Dok’. On its return, ‘Alagang Kapatid’ will now air every Sunday at 1:00 p.m., starting November 8.

A radio version of ‘Alagang Kapatid’ will also complement the said program. Hosted by Cheryl Cosim and joined by Alagang Kapatid Foundation chairman Menchie Silvestre, ‘Alagang Kapatid’ on Radyo5 92.3 News FM will air every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. starting today, with a simulcast on AksyonTV and News5Everywhere.

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Overview of PNoy’s Final SONA Coverage

Eyes will be on President Noynoy Aquino as he makes his final State of the Nation Address. (Photo credit: Philstar.com)

Welcome to SONA Monday.

Held every fourth Monday of July, the State of the Nation Address is an annual event where the President of the Philippines addresses the public of his accomplishments and plans for the nation. While the SONA is not a national holiday, it remains an important political event in the country, ranking just above the presidential inauguration and the national elections.

This year’s SONA will be the last for President Noynoy Aquino, and it will be interesting to see how he will respond to the recent string events that have plagued his administration. As always, it will be greeted by protests from those against his administration.

Television and radio coverage will once again be at the forefront of this annual event, so without further ado, here are the plans for some of the stations covering the SONA.

ABS-CBN

The SONA coverage on Channel 2 will proceed after ‘Flordeliza’. ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ and ‘Mission Possible’ will be preempted, while ‘Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal’ may be preempted in case the SONA runs overtime.

ABS-CBN will use three different broadcast teams for their coverage. Channel 2 will be led by Ted Failon and Lynda Jumilla, ANC will be led by Tony Velasquez and Karmina Constantino, and DZMM TeleRadyo and Radyo Patrol 630 will be led by Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja.

A live and uninterrupted feed of the coverage will also be streamed on abs-cbnnews.com. It is unknown if the SONA coverage will also be seen on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, since the NCAA will no longer be in conflict with the SONA.

TV5

The SONA coverage on TV5 will proceed after the Marvel animation block. ‘Hi-5 Philippines’ will be the only show preempted, as ‘Movie Max 5’ only airs as a filler program.

TV5 will utilize a parallel broadcast approach for the coverage. Erwin Tulfo and Cheryl Cosim will anchor TV5’s coverage of the SONA on four different platforms: TV5, AksyonTV, Radyo5 92.3 News FM, and News5Everywhere.

GMA

The SONA coverage on GMA will proceed after ‘The Half-Sisters’. ‘Buena Familia”s premiere will be moved tomorrow, while ‘Healing Hearts’, ‘Alisto’ and possibly ‘Birth of a Beauty’ will be preempted.

The press release of the network only indicated that Mel Tiangco and Mike Enriquez will anchor Channel 7’s coverage. Whether or not it will be a parallel coverage or a separate coverage on Channel 7, GMA News TV, GMA News Online and Super Radyo DZBB 594 remains to be seen.

All AM stations, save for specialty ones, will also pool their resources for the SONA coverage. Updates on the event will also be provided by a few FM stations.

Net 25 will also cover the SONA, but since it takes place on the same day as the Iglesia ni Cristo’s 101st founding anniversary, the primary focus of the station could be on the latter. UNTV will also handle their own coverage of the event.

Finally, the neophyte CNN Philippines (formerly Solar News Channel and 9TV) will join in on the SONA fun for the first time. Their coverage of the SONA will be anchored by Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros.

Regardless of the station, the entire nation will pay attention to the statements made by President Aquino. His last SONA will be very important, so keep an eye on what he says.

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The End of TV5’s KBO, As We Know It

Since January 2015, reruns are now dominating what was once the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block on TV5. The said block debuted in October 2013, but was deemphasized the following year. (Screenshot courtesy of TV5)

The ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block on TV5 is now a distant memory.

These days, the remnants of the KBO block, consisting of ‘Demolition Job’, ‘Numero’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Unang Tikim’, and ‘Astig’, air reruns of past episodes at 11:30 p.m., a far cry from the block’s early days. It is safe to say that the KBO block has run its course, and with it, comes the clear fact that the said block has become more irrelevant than ever.

Debuting in October 2013 as part of a new programming strategy of the Kapatid network, KBO is originally composed of the following programs:

  • Demolition Job – hosted by Paolo Bediones
  • Numero – hosted by Cheryl Cosim
  • History with Lourd – hosted by Lourd de Veyra
  • Dayo – hosted by Atty. Theresa Licaros
  • Astig – hosted by Paolo Bediones

Upon the departure of Atty. Licaros from the network, ‘Dayo’ was replaced by ‘Bigtime’, hosted by Twink Macaraig, in February 2014. The original incarnation of KBO aired their last episodes in May 2014.

In September 2014, a new incarnation of KBO debuted, as ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’ returned for their second season. A new program, ‘Unang Tikim’, premiered on the said block, with chef Jeremy Favia as host, while ‘Numero’ and ‘Astig’ continued to air old episodes.

At this point, however, TV5 deemphasized the KBO name on air, but for reference purposes From the Tube will continue to use the KBO name when referring to TV5’s current 11:30 p.m. block.

The KBO block was also simulcast on TV5’s sister UHF network AksyonTV. But on the second incarnation of the said block, ‘Unang Tikim’ was not included on the simulcast, and ‘Bigtime’ continued to air instead.

By January 2015,  reruns are dominating the entire KBO block. The last new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’, ‘History with Lourd’ and ‘Unang Tikim’ were aired two months earlier, and upon checking the Facebook pages of each program, no mention of new episodes were posted.

What was once a very promising news block is now riddled with irrelevance, a lack of freshness and creativity, and a sense of exhaustion. The KBO block is now a shell of its former self, and News5 paid dearly for not maintaining it.

It remains to be seen if News5 finally wakes up to their senses and replace these overly repetitive programs. But in the eyes of the observers, the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block is essentially over, never to be seen again.

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For TV5, It’s All About ‘Aksyon’

On July 21, TV5 will officially integrate their newscasts under the ‘Aksyon’ banner. The newscasts will be titled ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, ‘Aksyon Prime’, and ‘Aksyon Tonite’.

But prior to the relaunch, several other TV5 programs and entities have used the word ‘Aksyon’ since the brand was launched in 2010.

Aksyon JournalisMO

The first late night news program of TV5 following the sale to Manny V. Pangilinan, ‘Aksyon JournalisMO’ was first anchored by Martin Andanar, Cherie Mercado and Jove Francisco. Andanar was later replaced by Atty. Mike Templo, followed by Paolo Bediones. The newscast ran from October 25, 2010 to February 17, 2012, and features online opinions of citizens regarding various national issues.

Aksyon Solusyon

The public service program has been airing on Radyo5 92.3 NewsFM since 2011, and was first hosted by Cheryl Cosim and Richard Gordon. Cosim was later replaced by Amelyn Veloso, before current host Alex Tinsay took over the program in late 2012. Tinsay is now the sole host of the program after Gordon’s departure in early 2013. ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ also airs on AksyonTV.

AksyonTV

Named after the flagship newscast, AksyonTV was launched on February 21, 2011. Once hailed as the first 24-hour free TV news network in the Filipino language, AksyonTV later cut its operational hours due to rising costs. The network currently airs a mix of Radyo5 programs, ‘Aksyon’ newscasts, News5 programs, and Sports5 events.

Aksyon Weekend

The weekend edition of ‘Aksyon’, it first aired on April 10, 2010. The original anchors were Andanar, Mercado and Francisco, all of whom would go on to anchor ‘Aksyon JournalisMO’. Amelyn Veloso, Naomi Dayrit and Maricel Halili later took over Mercado’s vacated seat.

Initially an early evening newscast, it was moved to late nights on October 10, 2010 to make way for ‘Willing Willie’. Twenty days later, Atty. Templo replaced Andanar, after which the newscast was renamed ‘Aksyon Sabado’ and ‘Aksyon Linggo’. They were later replaced by ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ in August 2012.

‘Aksyon Weekend’ was revived on January 16, 2013, with Raffy Tulfo and Grace Lee as anchors. Unlike the previous version, however, ‘Aksyon Weekend’ only aired on Saturday afternoons, mainly due to sports coverage and weekend entertainment programs. The revived ‘Aksyon Weekend’ ended its broadcasts on July 12, 2014.

Aksyon Sports

Hosted by Dennis Principe and Ron delos Reyes, ‘Aksyon Sports’ has been airing on Radyo5 92.3 News FM since 2011. The program also aired on AksyonTV, but was later cancelled. ‘Aksyon Sports’ solely focuses on recaps of sports events and discussions regarding various sports issues.

Aksyon Breaking and Related Bulletins

‘Aksyon Breaking’ (AksyonTV), ‘Aksyon Alert’ (TV5) and ‘Aksyon News Update’ (Radyo5 92.3 News FM) serve as the main news bulletins of News5. While ‘Aksyon Alert’ and ‘Aksyon News Update’ continue to air, ‘Aksyon Breaking’ was cancelled on July 13, 2014, in anticipation of a reformat.

Regional Aksyon

TV5 affiliates in Cebu and Davao air a regional version of ‘Aksyon’. ‘Aksyon Bisaya’ was first launched on July 18, 2011, after TV5 launched its Cebu affiliate. ‘Aksyon Dabaw’ was then launched on May 5, 2014, serving viewers of TV5 Davao.

Reaksyon

Formerly a stand-alone news and commentary program, it will now serve as a segment for ‘Aksyon Prime’ beginning July 21. Luchi Cruz-Valdes will continue to host the segment in addition to her anchoring duties on ‘Aksyon Prime’.

InterAksyon.com

The official news website of TV5, InterAksyon.com was launched in 2010, following the sale of the network to Manny V. Pangilinan. In addition to various news articles, clips of News5 programs and newscasts on TV and radio are also featured via its sister site News5 Everywhere.

This Monday, TV5 takes the ‘Aksyon’ name to new heights, in the form of ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’ (mornings), ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ (noontime), ‘Aksyon Prime’ (primetime) and ‘Aksyon Tonite’ (late nights). For News5, it is about strengthening and unifying the brand, believing that ‘more than the news, it is about action’ (‘higit sa balita, aksyon’). And that is exactly what they are attempting to accomplish.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not their new initiative will pay off. But for now, News5 will welcome a change of scenery, and will start over with a clean slate.

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