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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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, television

What’s Wrong with GMA Telebabad?

Last night, ‘Genesis’ officially aired its debut episode. However, the entry of the new teleserye came at a not-so opportune time. ‘Genesis’ was supposed to replace ‘My Husband’s Lover’ this week, but ‘MHL”s finale was moved to October 18, for unknown reasons. With the entry of ‘Genesis’, GMA Telebabad now airs six teleseryes for this week, which does not bode well with viewers.

ABS-CBN, for its part, ends its teleserye block at around 10:30-10:40 p.m., after which the late night newscast ‘Bandila‘ goes on air. At around this time, ‘My Husband’s Lover’ is still airing, and with either ‘The Innocent Man‘ or ‘Bubble Gang’ still on the schedule, most viewers hungry for the news have no choice but to switch to ‘Bandila’. By the time ‘Saksi‘ airs, ABS-CBN’s newscast is finished, putting GMA‘s late night newscast at a disadvantage.

One particular reason behind GMA’s later airing of its teleseryes is the long broadcast hours allotted to ‘24 Oras‘. The said newscast begins around the same time as ‘TV Patrol‘. However, ’24 Oras’ usually ends at around 8:00-8:10 p.m., while ‘TV Patrol’ wraps up at around 7:30-7:40 p.m. The longer broadcast of ’24 Oras’ may be attributed to the more deliberate news delivery of anchors Mike Enriquez and Mel Tiangco, and coupled with the greater amount of commercials and stories, ’24 Oras” running time seems longer for a regular newscast. In contrast, ‘TV Patrol’ delivers at a much quicker pace, aided by its three-anchor team of Noli de Castro, Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon.

My suggestion for ’24 Oras’ is to add a third anchor; names such as Ivan Mayrina, Rhea Santos or Jiggy Manicad are worth considering. They also need to air less commercials, report news stories at a fast pace, and deemphasize on soft news stories. That way, GMA’s teleseryes can compete fairly against ABS-CBN’s, and more importantly, shorten the newscast to an hour to better compete with ABS-CBN’s.

GMA executives messed things up by rushing ‘Genesis’ into the airwaves instead of waiting for ‘My Husband’s Lover’ to end. Thus with the six teleseryes and ’24 Oras’ for this week, GMA will definitely have a hard time competing against its Kapamilya counterparts. If they can improve GMA Telebabad to compete fairly against ABS-CBN’s ‘Primetime Bida’ by using these suggestions, that would be better, but only if they agree on this.

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