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Radyo5 Should Let Go of Punto Asintado

The post-Erwin Tulfo era in ‘Punto Asintado’ is off to an unimpressive start.

Nearly a month after Erwin Tulfo left TV5 on his own terms, the show that Erwin left behind is still searching for a permanent and regular host. At the moment, four different hosts have filled in on ‘Punto Asintado’.

They are:

  • Mae Anne Los Baños
  • Maricel Halili
  • Alex Tinsay
  • Atty. Mel Sta. Maria

Call it an unstable bunch. While the four hosts are willing and able to fill the chair, their other roles within and beyond News5 prevent them from hosting ‘Punto Asintado’ on a regular basis.

Alex Tinsay, for example, is also the host of ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ on weekdays and ‘Metro Sabado’ on Saturdays. He is also one of the hosts of ‘The 700 Club Asia’ on the GMA family of networks.

Atty. Mel Sta. Maria is the host of ‘Relasyon’ alongside Gladys Lana-Lucas (by default; original host Luchi Cruz-Valdes no longer appears on the show since June). He also fills in for Orly Mercado on ‘Orly Mercado All Ready’ on occasion, and outside Radyo5, is the dean of Far Eastern University Institute of Law.

Both Mae Anne Los Baños and Maricel Halili serve as News5 reporters. Mae Anne was one of the anchors of ‘Balita Alas-Singko’ while Maricel hosts ‘Iba Yung Pinoy’ on Sunday afternoons.

The rotating host situation in ‘Punto Asintado’ is a microcosm of the overall situation that is going on at Radyo5 92.3 News FM. Throughout the past year, some of the station’s personalities left for various reasons, and the fact that Radyo5 executives have failed to fill in the gaps made it clear that the station’s days are numbered.

When every listener thinks of ‘Punto Asintado’, Erwin Tulfo will always come to mind. This show will always be identified with him, even though he had some co-hosts in Cheryl Cosim and Martin Andanar along the way.

Perhaps Radyo5 would be wise to cancel ‘Punto Asintado’ at this point because it makes no sense continuing the show without its most identifiable personality. The show is and will always belong to Erwin Tulfo regardless of where he goes.

As for the situation at the chair, Radyo5 may need to call Ed Lingao and Lourd de Veyra’s number. A new morning show with either one of them could mitigate the loss of one of Radyo5’s standout programs.

One can only hope that Radyo5 will do the right thing when it comes to the 8:00 a.m. weekday slot. Time is of the essence, so good luck to them in figuring out this mess.

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Tulfo Brothers’ Departure Leaves Radyo5 in a Tight Spot

The crisis within News5 reached a new level last week.

A few weeks ago, brothers Erwin and Ben Tulfo, and Ed Lingao were engaged in a war of words in both social media and in their respective programs. To make the long story short, here is how the story began.

Erwin’s brother Ben then defended him against Ed Lingao on his ‘Bitag Live’ program last June 20, 2017. The said video was quickly uploaded on the ‘Bitag’ YouTube page, and Ed later responded to Ben’s comments on Facebook.

However, in light of a personal tragedy involving Ed Lingao, Ben and his staff elected to remove the video. After that, Ben issued a public apology on social media.

Nevertheless, News5 management, led by Luchi Cruz-Valdes, were disappointed with the situation. On Friday, June 30, they posted this official statement condemning the controversy between the Tulfo brothers and Ed Lingao.

But by the time TV5 issued this statement, the damage has been done. On Thursday, June 29, Erwin announced his departure from Radyo5, and several hours later, brother Ben also called it quits.

While Ben quickly moved ‘Bitag Live’ to PTV-4, as of today, Erwin has yet to announce a new station of his own. Nevertheless, Erwin continues to appear alongside his brother and Alex Santos on ‘Kilos Pronto’, in addition to a Facebook-only broadcast called ‘Erwin Tulfo Live’.

As for Radyo5 92.3 News FM, they made some changes to their programming lineup in light of the departure of Ben and Erwin. The departed ‘Bitag Live’ was replaced by ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ which was then extended to two hours, while ‘Punto Asintado’ is now being handled by substitute anchors.

Unfortunately for Miguel Belmonte, the programming changes did little to mitigate this crisis. Radyo5 is already thin on talent, and with the Tulfo brothers (save for Raffy who remains under contract) now gone, the situation only got worse.

In fact, host Alex Tinsay cannot do it alone. While he is the regular host of ‘Aksyon Solusyon’, he has also pinched-hit for the Tulfo brothers in their programs, but with Ben and Erwin no longer in the fold, the challenge even got trickier.

So much so that Menchie Silvestre (host of ‘Alagang Kapatid’) and Niña Taduran (Raffy’s co-host on ‘Wanted sa Radyo’) are penciled in to take over ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ on the interim. But if Radyo5 were smart, there are others hosts who can fill in the void.

Take Cheryl Cosim for example. The host of ‘Serbisyong Kapatid’ and ‘Healthline with Cheryl Cosim’ has also hosted ‘Punto Asintado’ in the past, and with her current two programs in the same mold as ‘Aksyon Solusyon’, Radyo5 should consider giving her a slot on either program.

Maricel Halili, the host of ‘Iba Yung Pinoy’, is another option, having pinched-hit on ‘Punto Asintado’ on a few occasions. So is Lourd de Veyra, another occasional pinch-hitter on the show.

Ed Lingao, who has rarely, if not never, worked on radio, could also be a viable option, provided that he is allowed to return. Or they could welcome back the now-former DOTR spokesperson Cherie Mercado and revive ‘Trabaho Lang’ as a morning program, if she is allowed more time with her family.

Overall, Miguel Belmonte has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, but it will be up to him to deliver the goods. This is now a litmus test for Radyo5 92.3 News FM, so let’s see how will they play this out.

Otherwise they can just reformat into an easy listening station ala 96.3 Easy Rock. Simple as that.

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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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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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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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