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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 100 Words: Jun Sabayton, Michael V Promote Fair and Honest Elections

The election coverage on TV5 and GMA became even more interesting, thanks to a pair of comedians.

In August 2015, TV5 launched a series of mock campaign videos starring Jun Sabayton. Titled ‘Bayaw for President’, it is currently promoted as part of the network’s ‘Bilang Pilipino’ coverage.

A few months later, GMA responded with their own series of videos starring Michael V. The ‘Dapat Tama’ videos, where Bitoy portrayed three different characters (Mimi Hasa, Delly N. Sha & Gary Palan), are currently part of the network’s ‘Eleksyon 2016’ coverage.

While the reception between the two advocacy series may vary among netizens, they share one common belief. Both ‘Bayaw for President’ and ‘Dapat Tama’ are here to teach voters on how to vote for the right candidate.

As of today, ABS-CBN has yet to release their own advocacy videos for ‘Halalan 2016’.

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TV5’s New Shows Premiere This Quarter of 2015

The Padilla brothers may have taken different paths acting-wise, but on ‘2 1/2 Daddies’, they will join forces on TV5’s newest sitcom, one of several upcoming programs gracing the Kapatid network this week. (Photo credit: TV5)

The blanks have been filled once again on TV5.

Two brand new shows premiered on the Kapatid network today. ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’, hosted by RR Enriquez, LJ Moreno-Alapag, Danica Sotto-Pingris and Jeck Maierhofer, and ‘Solved na Solved’, hosted by Arnell Ignacio, Gelli de Belen and TV5 legal expert Atty. Mel Sta. Maria, debuted following the conclusion of the network’s coverage of Pope Francis in Manila earlier this morning.

Tomorrow will see two other shows make their way into the TV5 lineup. The local version of the Australian kids’ show ‘Hi-5’ premieres at 8:30 a.m., while ‘Healing Galing’, a spinoff of the Radyo5 program hosted by Dr. Edinell Calvario, will air at 10:00 a.m. with Hayden Kho as co-host.

The Padilla brothers (Robin, Rommel and BB Gandanghari) will join forces on the sitcom ‘2 1/2 Daddies’, which will air starting this Saturday at 8:00 p.m.. Another sitcom, this time starring Derek Ramsay and Empoy Marquez, will be titled ‘Mac and Chiz’ and will air starting this Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

A pair of talent shows will also spice up TV5’s weekend programming. ‘Move It’, a dance show hosted by Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Tom Taus, premieres this Sunday at 7:00 p.m., while ‘Rising Stars’, a singing competition show hosted by Ogie Alcasid and Venus Raj, will be aired next month.

A new season of ‘Wattpad Presents’ will also see the light of day, as new love stories featuring television’s rising young talents will be featured starting tonight at 9:00 p.m. And for those in need of love advice, call Papa Jack and his new show ‘Call Me Papa Jack’, which airs starting this Saturday at 10:00 p.m.

Still to come for the Kapatid network are:

  • ‘E5’, a showbiz, lifestyle and fashion show hosted by KC Montero, Grace Lee, Tim Yap, IC Mendoza and Divine Lee
  • ‘Extreme Challenge: Kaya Mo Ba ‘To’, an adventure reality show hosted by Derek Ramsay and features select teams of ‘The Amazing Race Philippines 2’
  • ‘No Harm No Foul’, a sitcom starring Ogie Alcasid, Ritz Azul and several PBA players
  • ‘Kontrabando’, a news satire show hosted by Ramon Bautista, Lourd de Veyra, Jun Sabayton and RA Rivera
  • ‘Last School Standing’, a game show featuring the top high schools in the country

This is definitely a good start for TV5 in 2015. That said, expect the network to plug in more holes as the weeks go on, as they look to stabilize their programming lineup for this year.

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KBO on TV5 is Back, Sort of

Paolo Bediones (left) returns to host a new season of ‘Demolition Job’ on TV5. (Photo credit: Demolition Job Official Facebook)

A new program and a new season of two others marked the return of TV5’s ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block.

On the week of September 15, new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’ began to air on TV5. The two original KBO programs were recently rewarded with a new season as a testament to their popularity with viewers.

The latest season of ‘Demolition Job’ marked the on-air return of Paolo Bediones, who recently took a leave of absence as anchor of ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the light of his controversial sex scandal. Meanwhile, Lourd de Veyra will continue to host ‘History with Lourd’, alongside his sidekick and the self-proclaimed ‘pinaka-walang kwentang showbiz reporter’, Jun Sabayton.

Also on TV5, a new program called ‘Unang Tikim’ debuted on September 18. The program marked the latest project for chef Jeremy Favia, whose previous projects on the Kapatid network include the short segment ‘Take Out’, and the 30-minute cooking show ‘Chef vs. Mom’ alongside his mother Lalie Favia.

Unlike other cooking shows, ‘Unang Tikim’ focuses more on the exotic delicacies and the benefits that come with it. This is a daunting challenge for the average viewer, because in each episode, their intestinal fortitude and ability to overcome the grossness of delicacies like insects, rodents and reptiles will be put to the test.

And to fill in the void, repeats of ‘Numero’ and ‘Astig’ were added on the Tuesday and Friday slots, respectively.

While TV5 and AksyonTV were able to reinsert the KBO block following ‘Aksyon Tonite’, the latter’s version is currently not a simulcast of the former.

As a result, AksyonTV does not air new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’, and instead concentrate on the first season episodes. In addition, repeats of ‘Bigtime’ air instead of ‘Unang Tikim’, while airings of ‘Numero’ and ‘Astig’ are different from those that air on TV5.

The return of KBO on TV5 should be a positive development for its news department. Having said that, News5 should keep on planning for fresh concepts in order to stay relevant and up-to-date. The time to improve News5 is now, and should begin immediately.

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The Real Anniversary of UNTV

The original logo of UNTV, adopted by the current station upon their ‘claimed’ establishment in 2004.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of UNTV, the 24-hour television station managed by Daniel Razon. In reality, however, the station should be celebrating its 13th year in the television industry.

So what happened to the first three years of UNTV’s existence?

Apparently, it was the decision of the station’s management to use 2004 as its starting point. UNTV, as a public service station, took off once ‘Ang Dating Daan’ of Bro. Eli Soriano arrived on the scene, and from that point on, they eschewed the rock video format in favor of news, public affairs and educational programs that complemented ‘ADD’.

The arrival of Daniel Razon further legitimized UNTV’s approach to public service. He established a free bus ride, job fairs, legal counseling and health care services, and other means to serve the masses.

Thus, the station claims that they were established in 2004, and not 2001 as witnessed by older television viewers.

In my opinion, UNTV’s decision does not make sense. If the station claims to have been established in 2004, why did they use the original NU 107-inspired logo from 2001 as its first logo? And why did they choose to keep the UNTV name?

The fact is, their decision to reformat without rebranding and renaming the station is an insult to the legacy of UNTV’s previous rock-oriented era. Having said that, it is hard to imagine that the now public service-oriented UNTV was the same station that once aired rock music videos and independent short films.

Looking back, UNTV’s history from 2001-04 should have been given some respect. The station should be credited for launching the careers of Ramon Bautista, Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez, Jun Sabayton and Angel ‘Erning’ Rivero, hosts of the popular reality comedy series ‘Strangebrew’. In addition, UNTV should also be responsible for introducing independent film-making to a mainstream audience, courtesy of the ‘Eat My Shorts’ segments.

But perhaps the most important way to pay tribute to the original UNTV is their promotion of Pinoy rock (and alternative rock music in general) to the mainstream, in the form of music videos. And finally, the station should commend NU 107 DJs Francis Reyes, Zach Lucero and Ron Titular, and musicians Diego Mapa and Jason Caballa, for hosting programs that solely focus on promoting various genres of rock music.

Sadly, those three years in UNTV’s history were nothing but an afterthought. One must wonder if that particular era in UNTV’s history will be given a proper tribute. Only time will tell, but for now, UNTV’s claim of being established in 2004 will continue to hold.

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