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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news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

The Return of ‘Kabayan’, Three Years After

In 2010, ‘Kabayan’ Noli de Castro marked his return to broadcasting by hosting his weekday morning radio program ‘Kabayan’ and anchoring ‘TV Patrol’ on a nightly basis. Three years after, he still didn’t miss a beat. (Photo credit: TFC.tv)

After leaving the political arena in 2010, ‘Kabayan’ Noli de Castro returned to the network he called home for 15 years. Just a month following his departure from the Vice Presidency, he resumed his normal broadcast duties by hosting the popular and well-acclaimed DZMM program ‘Kabayan: Kapangyarihan ng Mamamayan, Balita at Talakayan’ in the early morning. Then at night, he co-anchors the long-running ‘TV Patrol‘ on ABS-CBN with Ted Failon and Korina Sanchez. Even after a nine-year sabbatical from television and radio, he’s still the same old ‘Kabayan’, full of intensity and respect.

It was with ‘TV Patrol’ where ‘Kabayan’ became a celebrity in his own right, one that eventually propelled him to pursue politics. Consistently ranked as the top-rated news program in Philippine television, ‘TV Patrol’ changed the way news was told, using Filipino as the main tongue and focusing more on tabloid-related stories in addition to national news. TV Patrol, even after 25 years and several anchor changes, is still preferred by a majority of the Philippine population over its closest competitors. And de Castro’s return to ‘TV Patrol’ helped them solidify their position as the top-rated news program today.

In addition to ‘TV Patrol’, de Castro also hosts the DZMM morning program ‘Kabayan’, which he also started in 1987. His return to the early morning slot forced Neil Ocampo, who ran and lost in the 2010 election, to move his ‘Todo Balita‘ program to Radyo5 92.3. De Castro’s typical routine on the program consist of interviews with various personalities, commentary on current national issues, a 7:00 a.m. newscast with Ted Failon, and Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ after bidding his listeners farewell.  The on-air return of ‘Kabayan’ was perfect timing; ‘Saksi sa Dobol B‘ on DZBB had been lording over the early morning slot for the past few years, and de Castro’s return helped DZMM reclaim the lead or even the gap in the early mornings thereafter.

However, what was missing from his return was his public affairs program ‘Magandang Gabi, Bayan‘. Originally aired on Saturday nights, ‘MGB’ was pulled off the air after de Castro ran for the Senate in 2001, ending a 12-year run. ‘MGB”s slot would later be occupied by other public affairs programs before ‘Maalala Mo Kaya’ was moved to Saturdays in 2008. Even with ‘Kabayan”s return, ‘MGB’ wasn’t able to make it back on-air. Nevertheless, de Castro continues to host special programs on occasion.

Three years since returning to television and radio, ‘Kabayan’ remains as strong as ever. No one in the world of Philippine mass media today can top his influence, integrity and power. For many, Noli de Castro is the benchmark of which other anchors will be measured on.

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