news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Pissed Off: TV Patrol Unhappy About Late Start

The ‘It’s Showtime’ effect of going overtime has had plenty of repercussions.

For the most part, it affected the start times of succeeding ABS-CBN programs. But none felt the sting of starting late more than ‘TV Patrol’, the flagship primetime newscast of the network.

‘TV Patrol’ usually airs at around 6:30 p.m. and is simulcast on both ABS-CBN and DZMM. However, the DZMM portion gets a little tricky; ‘Dos Por Dos’ anchors Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna usually end their show just before 6:30, but in recent episodes they either stick around for a little while or leave and allow DZMM to play a long commercial break.

In certain instances where ‘TV Patrol’ begins later than its usual 6:30 p.m. start, the ‘Headlines’ portion was omitted in favor of a shortened opening billboard. Peter Musñgi’s introduction of “Live mula sa ABS-CBN News Center Manila, Ito ang TV Patrol”, accompanied with an airborne shot of the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center, was also removed at times.

Even the newscast’s anchors were starting to feel unhappy with the late start. During one recent episode, anchor Noli de Castro berated one of the teleprompter operators a few minutes into the newscast for not opening the teleprompter on short notice (a moment that was later cut from iWant TV uploads of the show).

There were also times when Star Patrol, the newscast’s entertainment news segment, was reduced to just two or three news items. And finally, a few recent episodes saw an unusual closing segment in which the anchors bid farewell and then walk out of the set immediately while still on camera.

Despite the late starts, ‘TV Patrol’ continued to be the newscast of choice for the common Filipino as it scores over 30%. However, it was clear that the show and its anchors were not happy with the late starts.

Perhaps ABS-CBN management should call an emergency meeting to solve this brewing issue once and for all. They can call out both the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’ and the anchors of ‘TV Patrol’, their respective production teams, and both the head of integrated news Ging Reyes and corporate communications Kane Errol Choa to end this impasse.

One can only hope that ABS-CBN will do the right thing and go back to what it was useful in the past. After all ‘TV Patrol’ does not deserve to be put in a bad light because of ‘It’s Showtime”s string of poor time management.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Time’s Up: Luchi Cruz-Valdes Must Retire The Mic

No one is as hard-working and determined as Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

The head of News5 is a do-it-all woman. Behind the scenes, she supervises the overall operations of the department, and on-screen, she anchors important programs and newscasts to occasionally critical acclaim.

Unfortunately for LCV, the ongoing situation within News5 is unbearable. Many of the department’s mainstays have departed for either greener pastures or a life of privacy, and the inability to find immediate replacements both within and outside the organization has put tremendous pressure on Luchi herself.

To make matters worse, Luchi was placed in the hot seat herself a number of times. There were rumors that she would step down as the head of News5, and yet these were put to rest.

And coming off recent surgery, Luchi’s on-camera work was significantly reduced of late. For all intents and purposes, she has relinquished her hosting job on ‘Relasyon’ in favor of the former head of Radyo5 Gladys Lana-Lucas, and her appearances on ‘Aksyon Prime’ and ‘ReAksyon’ were increasingly infrequent.

Still, TV5 has trust on Luchi Cruz-Valdes as far as on-screen roles are concerned. Which is why starting this Saturday, they gave the head of News5 a weekly debate series called ‘Manindigan’.

Airing every Saturday at 7:30 p.m., ‘Manindigan’ is an hour-long series that will tackle some of the issues that affect the country today. The series is essentially ‘ReAksyon’ in a forum format.

While ‘Manindigan’ will only be aired for a short period of time, it is clear that the on-air side of Luchi Cruz-Valdes is waning in significance. Last Monday, she anchored TV5’s coverage of the State of the Nation Address, but working the coverage by herself (with a little help from Ed Lingao) is career suicide considering her age and increased pressure of her job.

Perhaps the time has finally come for Luchi to retire the microphone and leave the anchor’s chair altogether. It would be better for her to focus on behind-the-scenes work full-time, something that contemporaries Ging Reyes, Marissa Flores and Armie Jarin-Bennett pride on doing.

No offense, but with News5 in must-improve or else mode, Luchi should focus on being the head of News5 instead of doubling as an on-screen talent at the same time. A commitment to restore News5 to its former glory is a must for her at this point.

Stepping aside may be the hardest thing to do, but for Luchi Cruz-Valdes, the time has finally come. Time to hand the reins over to younger journalists who are willing to gain experience in every way possible.

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news, Philippines, television

A Look Back at News Coverage of the Resorts World Manila Attack

Friday’s incident at Resorts World Manila was headline news for journalists throughout the country. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

Tragedy strikes on the first Friday of June.

On June 2, 2017, gunshots and fire broke out at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. When it was all said and done, 37 people were found dead through suffocation, and the gunman, later identified as former Department of Finance employee Jessie Carlos, shot and immolated himself to death.

Here is how the country’s major news outfits fare with the coverage of the incident.

ABS-CBN News Channel and DZMM TeleRadyo

The burden of ABS-CBN News’ coverage was shared between DZMM TeleRadyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Both networks went on breaking news mode the moment the attack at Resorts World Manila struck.

ANC and DZMM continued to provide updates of the tragedy over the next 24 hours, with the former somehow eschewing its regular programs in favor of the generic ‘ANC Live’ brand beginning at 11:30 a.m. DZMM continued to air its regular programs but on occasion it gave way to special coverage of the said incident.

GMA News TV

GMA News TV’s coverage began through its simulcast of DZBB shows ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, ‘Sino?’ and ‘Dobol A sa Dobol B’. Their marathon continued through ‘News to Go’ and ‘Balitanghali’.

The network essentially preempted all regular programming in favor of TV shopping blocks for much of the afternoon. In between, newscasts such as ‘Quick Response Team’, ‘Balita Pilipinas’ and ‘State of the Nation’ continued to update on the situation.

CNN Philippines

While CNN Philippines is a 24/7 station (at least for cable and satellite subscribers), the network’s coverage at Resorts World Manila did not begin until 6:00 a.m. once ‘New Day’ kicked in. From that point on, CNN Philippines went on three different phases.

First, the network’s early morning coverage was aired in English, followed by a Filipino language marathon of the incident during the late morning through early afternoon. After that, English language coverage resumed all the way till the deep part of the evening, with some regular programming in between.

News5

Unfortunately, Luchi Cruz-Valdes’ outfit failed to deliver when it mattered most. Although Radyo5 92.3 FM (and by extension AksyonTV) provided some breaking news on the Resorts World Manila tragedy, the networks continued to air regular programming as if nothing had happened.

Even the ‘Aksyon’ newscasts on TV5 had a bad outing as well. Considering that the newscasts only have at least an hour of airtime (not to mention Raffy Tulfo’s penchant to do some extracurricular activities not related to news), it is clear that LCV and company have too little to offer with a meager cast and limited time.

The next two days saw further updates of the Resorts World Manila tragedy, but other than that, it was all back to normal programming. Additional press conferences at the Resorts World Manila, including the revelation of the gunman’s name, were a few highlights of the weekend.

Overall, it was a field day for major news networks in the country. But while Ging Reyes, Marissa Flores and Armie Jarin-Bennett have done a pretty good job putting all the work in dealing with the Resorts World Manila tragedy, the same cannot be said for Luchi Cruz-Valdes, and it’s a shame.

When tragedy strikes, somebody must take action. And in times like this, news networks and other related organizations should be first on the scene to deliver the news and bring up-to-date reports to everyone.

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business, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

A Look at the ‘New and Improved’ ANC

The ABS-CBN News Channel continues to get better.

The past few months saw a gradual makeover in ANC’s programming lineup. It all started in late January when the sports-centric newscast ‘Gametime’ premiered with ABS-CBN Sports analyst Migs Bustos at the helm.

To give way to ‘Gametime’, ANC needed to make some sacrifices. First, the network’s flagship newscast ‘The World Tonight’ was shortened back to its original 30-minute duration, then ‘Market Edge with Cathy Yang’ made some slight changes to their running time; the 9:00 a.m. edition was cut to 30 minutes, while the 3:00 p.m. edition was extended to an hour.

Late February saw another new addition to the ANC family, as longtime international news anchor Annalisa Burgos joined the network. Her arrival also led to a rebrand of ANC’s early morning newscast, with ‘Mornings @ ANC’ morphing to ‘Early Edition’.

The following week, ANC shored up its afternoon and primetime lineups as well. Here is a look at the 4:30-8:00 p.m. weekday schedule:

  • 4:30 p.m. – Hot Copy on Headstart
  • 5:00 p.m. – ANCalerts
  • 5:30 p.m. – Top Story
  • 6:30 p.m. – Hardball (M), Green Living (TU), Mukha (W), Dayaw (TH), Cityscape (F)
  • 7:00 p.m. – The Bureau
  • 7:30 p.m. – Talkback (M), Beyond Politics (TU), Future Perfect (W), The Boss (TH), Shoptalk (F)

To summarize, ‘ANCalerts’, ‘Top Story’ and ANC’s human interest shows were bumped by 30 minutes, while ‘Hot Copy on Headstart’ was moved two hours earlier. A primetime edition of ‘The Bureau’, anchored by Ron Cruz, was added, while ‘Talkback’, ‘Beyond Politics’ and ‘Shoptalk’ were shortened to 30 minutes.

Finally, the ‘Early Edition’ segment ‘Matters of Fact’ was given replay schedules as well. Hosted by Christian Esguerra, ‘Matters of Fact’ replays are aired on weekdays at 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

The weekend schedule was slightly tweaked as well. Other than replays of ANC’s talk and human interest programs, the only significant move by the network came when ‘On the Money’, a financial advice program hosted by Edric Mendoza and Salve Duplito, was moved to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

After all that analyzing, it is pretty clear that the ABS-CBN News braintrust has done a very good job improving what has been a very superior product. Kudos to Ging Reyes and Nadia Trinidad for once again playing key roles in maintaining ANC’s status as the Philippines’ premier news network.

The process, of course, was a long and carefully thought one. But at the end of the day, there is no stopping the ABS-CBN News Channel in their continuous quest to innovate and satisfy the needs of business leaders and decision makers.

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news, Philippines, television

The World Tonight 50th Anniversary Documentary, Coming Soon

'The World Tonight' celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a documentary commemorating the milestone to air soon on the ABS-CBN News Channel. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a documentary commemorating the milestone to air soon on the ABS-CBN News Channel. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘The World Tonight’, the Philippines’ longest-running English newscast, is 50 years old.

The gold standard among local newscasts, ‘The World Tonight’ has been on the air since November 21, 1966. The newscast became a witness to some of the country’s greatest moments, having covered the beginning of Martial Law, three EDSA People Power revolutions, seven Philippine presidential administrations, and other notable events.

Over the years, journalists such as Orly Mercado, Loren Legarda, Ces Drilon, Dyan Castillejo, Tina Monzon-Palma and the late Angelo Castro Jr. have become synonymous with ‘The World Tonight’. These days, lead anchor Tina Monzon-Palma, co-anchors Tony Velasquez, Cathy Yang and TJ Manotoc, and commentator Teddy Locsin Jr. continue to uphold its tradition of journalistic excellence.

‘The World Tonight’ endured four different stops during its 50-year run (technically 36 years thanks to Martial Law). They are:

  • ABS-CBN Channel 9 (1966-67)
  • ABS-CBN Channel 3 (1967-72)
  • ABS-CBN Channel 2 (1986-99)
  • ABS-CBN News Channel (1996-present)

While ‘The World Tonight’ lost 14 of its years to Martial Law, there is no denying the impact the newscast has had on the Filipino nation. And, like ABS-CBN’s golden anniversary celebration in 2003, the network decided to honor the 14 lost years of ‘The World Tonight’ in commemorating its 50th year, since it remains an important part of their history.

As announced during the second ANC X event in Rockwell, Makati, a documentary commemorating ‘The World Tonight”s 50th anniversary will air on ANC very soon. It will feature interviews from some of ‘The World Tonight”s past and present anchors, producers, and even ABS-CBN’s braintrust led by chairman Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III.

ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes paid tribute to ‘The World Tonight’ during the ANC X event, saying:

“’The World Tonight’ and ANC are one in keeping the Filipino audience informed and enlightened through all these years; two institutions that keep pushing for public enlightenment – the very foundation of any democracy. May these two strong institutions outlive us all.”

Indeed they are. And after 50 years, ‘The World Tonight’ is still going strong.

 

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Coming Soon: ANC HD on SkyCable

The ever-innovative ABS-CBN News Channel will have its own HD channel coming soon. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

ABS-CBN is launching a third HD channel soon.

After giving the flagship Channel 2 and Sports+Action its own HD channel (available exclusively on SkyCable), the network finally decided that the time is right for the ABS-CBN News Channel to have an HD channel as well. This announcement took place yesterday in a press conference inside the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

According to Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, the impending launch of ANC HD should cement its position as the gold standard and primary source for Philippine news and analysis for the country’s business and political leaders. She then voiced her thoughts on ANC HD and the channel in general in the statement below.

This is what ANC has continuously strived to be: the best, most reliable, and prestigious English language, all-news channel in the Philippines. There is still a lot more in store for ANC, as we mark twenty years this coming May. Stay tuned for these exciting developments.

Indeed they still have a lot more in store, as two months from now the 2016 national elections will take place. And ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs will have all of it covered, from the campaign period to the day of the voting and eventually the final results.

With the impending launch of ANC HD, how will this affect the news programming of Channel 2 and the Regional Network Group? While ABS-CBN Channel 2 has its own HD channel, some of its news programming (e.g. ‘TV Patrol’) are still shot in standard definition, and as a result, they are still considered a work in progress.

That said, it may take awhile for the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs to embrace the high definition platform full-time. For now, patience is of the virtue, and for a network that has pioneered HD broadcasting in the country, there is still time to make it all happen.

The assigned channel of ANC HD on SkyCable will be revealed soon. Stay tuned for further details.

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