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GMA to Revive Dobol B sa News TV Block This April

A new (or old) program block is set to return to GMA News TV.

It was announced that the ‘Dobol B sa News TV’ block will be revived on the network this coming April. The teaser below shows hosts Mike Enriquez (of ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’), Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto (of ‘Dobol A sa Dobol B’) talking about their impending return to the small screen via GMA News TV.

Initially launched on February 28, 2011, ‘Dobol B sa News TV’ is essentially a simulcast of early morning programs from Super Radyo DZBB 594. The first iteration of the block consists of the following programs:

  • Saksi sa Dobol B (hosted by Mike Enriquez)
  • Super Balita sa Umaga Nationwide (anchored by Mike Enriquez and Joel Reyes Zobel)
  • One on One with Igan (hosted by Arnold Clavio and Lala Roque)

The block ran from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekdays and it competed against DZMM TeleRadyo shows ‘Kabayan’, ‘Radyo Patrol Balita Alas-Siyete’ and ‘Failon Ngayon sa DZMM’. However, the block had its flaws, the most notable of which are the ill-timed placing of taped news reports during commercial breaks and product advisories.

GMA News TV’s Teleradyo-like experiment lasted until September 7, 2012, when it was cancelled due to low ratings. After that, with the exception of a short-lived revival of ‘Kape at Balita’, News TV’s 6:00-9:00 a.m. slot was given to reruns of GMA Public Affairs shows, classic action movies, Koreanovelas, TV shopping blocks, and even the teleserye ‘Amaya’.

The revival of ‘Dobol B sa News TV’ should give viewers another reason to believe in News TV. While the network’s quality of programming is still questionable, their recent live coverage of high-profile Senate and House hearings is a sign that the channel is improving and that a return to form is imminent.

Still, even with the return of DZBB programs to News TV, how long can this latest experiment last? One can only hope that the simulcast will be the first step towards News TV’s true transformation into a legitimate news channel without any of the extracurricular activities present in them.

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GMA News TV Needs to Get Rid of the Movies

If there is one thing to describe about GMA News TV, it’s the fact that they earned a reputation for being the most cluttered of the four major news networks in the country. And airing movies, Filipino or foreign, only add insult to injury.

This week, GMA News TV brought back its much maligned ‘Takilya Blockbusters’ movie block, featuring classic films. This time around, the movie block aired starting at 6:00 a.m., an uncharacteristic choice of hour for movies on free TV.

Honestly, it is a bad decision by News TV to air movies at 6:00 a.m. People who usually wake up at this hour always begin their day by watching the news, and for News TV to air movies in the early morning, it is a slap to the face for the network that GMA always claims to be the ‘no. 1 news network in the country’.

What made it worse is that News TV already has a poor history of replacing and replaying shows at 6:00 a.m. They attempted a hook-up with Super Radyo DZBB 594 for ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, followed by a morning show in ‘Kape at Balita’, before making a decision to simply replay classic documentary programs. They could have simulcast ‘Unang Hirit’ in a similar way that rivals ABS-CBN News Channel and AksyonTV simulcast their VHF channel’s morning programs, but since GMA 7 is also a VHF channel, News TV wanted no part of simulcasting GMA’s morning program.

GMA News TV needs to stop airing these movies. They do not deserve to air on a news channel like News TV, and are more applicable to specialized channels like ABS-CBN Sports + Action. News TV needs to go back to what they do best: news reporting and public affairs programming, which is what their rivals are doing.

But with the way things are going, I doubt if News TV will ever eschew these movie blocks. After all, they have been suffering from an identity crisis, as they aired not only movies, but also classic programs from predecessor QTV. And as they continue to press on by making questionable programming decisions, it may just be a matter of time before GMA executives finally pull the plug on News TV.

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Cancellation of Kape at Balita on GMA News TV

GMA News TV’s ‘Kape at Balita’ aired its final episode on August 16, 2013, finishing its 10-month run.

From August 19 onwards, many viewers of GMA News TV noticed a change in the early morning timeslot. Instead of the early morning newscast ‘Kape at Balita‘, the said network have been airing repeats of documentaries such as ‘Hamon ng Kalikasan’ and ‘Misteryo‘. No explanation was given regarding the cancellation.

The second incarnation of ‘Kape at Balita’ started to air on October 22, 2012 as an alternative program to the big networks’ morning shows such as ‘Umagang Kay Ganda‘, ‘Good Morning Club‘, and ‘Unang Hirit‘. The program’s basic fare featured mostly current news events, spiced up with commentaries and interviews from various sources. In short, ‘Kape at Balita’ was more akin to the morning news and commentary shows on radio such as ‘Kabayan: Kapangyarihan ng Mamamayan, Balita at Talakayan’ and ‘Saksi sa Dobol B‘.

This was GMA News TV’s second attempt at a morning show. Previous to that they aired a simulcast of DZBB‘s ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, before giving way to ‘Kape at Balita’. Morning shows on television were usually the most difficult and expensive to produce, and with the domination of the morning shows on the big networks, the others struggled to keep pace. One example is Studio 23‘s defunct morning show ‘Breakfast’, which struggled with viewership because the format is more akin to middle and upper class viewers.

These days both ABS-CBN and TV5 simulcast their morning shows on their sister news networks. ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ is also seen on the all-English cable network ABS-CBN News Channel, while ‘Good Morning Club’ is simulcast on the UHF AksyonTV. GMA would have loved to do the same thing with ‘Unang Hirit’, but since their sister network GMA News TV is also a VHF channel, it is very unlikely.

At the moment it is unclear whether or not GMA News TV will produce another morning show. For now, they revert back to airing past documentaries, something the network will never want to do after all my criticisms against the network.

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