news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, radio

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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The World Tonight 50th Anniversary Documentary, Coming Soon

'The World Tonight' celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a documentary commemorating the milestone to air soon on the ABS-CBN News Channel. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a documentary commemorating the milestone to air soon on the ABS-CBN News Channel. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘The World Tonight’, the Philippines’ longest-running English newscast, is 50 years old.

The gold standard among local newscasts, ‘The World Tonight’ has been on the air since November 21, 1966. The newscast became a witness to some of the country’s greatest moments, having covered the beginning of Martial Law, three EDSA People Power revolutions, seven Philippine presidential administrations, and other notable events.

Over the years, journalists such as Orly Mercado, Loren Legarda, Ces Drilon, Dyan Castillejo, Tina Monzon-Palma and the late Angelo Castro Jr. have become synonymous with ‘The World Tonight’. These days, lead anchor Tina Monzon-Palma, co-anchors Tony Velasquez, Cathy Yang and TJ Manotoc, and commentator Teddy Locsin Jr. continue to uphold its tradition of journalistic excellence.

‘The World Tonight’ endured four different stops during its 50-year run (technically 36 years thanks to Martial Law). They are:

  • ABS-CBN Channel 9 (1966-67)
  • ABS-CBN Channel 3 (1967-72)
  • ABS-CBN Channel 2 (1986-99)
  • ABS-CBN News Channel (1996-present)

While ‘The World Tonight’ lost 14 of its years to Martial Law, there is no denying the impact the newscast has had on the Filipino nation. And, like ABS-CBN’s golden anniversary celebration in 2003, the network decided to honor the 14 lost years of ‘The World Tonight’ in commemorating its 50th year, since it remains an important part of their history.

As announced during the second ANC X event in Rockwell, Makati, a documentary commemorating ‘The World Tonight”s 50th anniversary will air on ANC very soon. It will feature interviews from some of ‘The World Tonight”s past and present anchors, producers, and even ABS-CBN’s braintrust led by chairman Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III.

ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes paid tribute to ‘The World Tonight’ during the ANC X event, saying:

“’The World Tonight’ and ANC are one in keeping the Filipino audience informed and enlightened through all these years; two institutions that keep pushing for public enlightenment – the very foundation of any democracy. May these two strong institutions outlive us all.”

Indeed they are. And after 50 years, ‘The World Tonight’ is still going strong.

 

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AksyonTV’s ‘Wow Mali’ Moment

Yesterday morning marked a hilarious moment for AksyonTV.

With the PBA quarterfinals scheduled to begin later that afternoon, AksyonTV’s hookup with Radyo5 92.3 News FM started much earlier at 7:30 a.m. ‘Punto Asintado’ was supposed to air on that timeslot, but with Martin Andanar ill and Erwin Tulfo arriving late, its preceding program, ‘Orly Mercado All Ready’, extended its airtime instead.

AksyonTV then made a bit of a gaffe when the title graphics for ‘Punto Asintado’ were flashed, only to see Orly Mercado and his show continue beyond schedule. Because Erwin Tulfo always arrives at 8:00 a.m. regardless of the station’s schedule, Orly decided to continue his program rather than shift to ‘Punto Asintado’, in contrast to his usual substitute Atty. Mel Sta. Maria’s practice.

Time constraints prevented ‘Punto Asintado’ from calling both the MMDA Metro Traffic Base and PAGASA for their daily traffic and weather reports, and instead, for the remainder of the show, Erwin interviewed some guests via phone and read comments from netizens with regards to the topics at hand.

It was a funny moment for the said network, but it should also teach them a valuable lesson. Let’s just hope that this minor glitch will not affect AksyonTV and TV5 in the near future.

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Radyo5 Still Preferred Over DZMM, DZBB On the Road

Radyo5 92.3 News FM remains the leading all-news station for drivers in Metro Manila.

Four years ago, TV5 made a daring decision to launch Radyo5 92.3 News FM, the first all-news radio station on the FM band. They even made a catchphrase to promote the move, telling listeners to leave the old and distorted sounds of the AM band (“Iwanan mo na ang lumang tunog ng AM”).  This year, Radyo5’s reputation continues to grow, even as it remains the only such station on the FM band.

The PSRC Car Coincidental Survey recently ranked Radyo5 as the most preferred all-news radio station among Metro Manila motorists in 2013, ahead of traditional AM radio rivals DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and Super Radyo DZBB 594. While it is unfair to compare Radyo5 to the AM stations of ABS-CBN and GMA due to its difference in modulation, the fact that more and more drivers are shifting to Radyo5 for its clearer sound and lack of distortion compared to its AM contemporaries only justified its No. 1 ranking.

This past year, Radyo5 welcomed Ben Tulfo and Orly Mercado to its stable of hosts. Ben, who along with brothers Erwin and Raffy host ‘T3: Reload’ on TV5, brought his ‘Bitag Live’ program to the station, while Orly returned to the broadcast booth via ‘Orly Mercado: All Ready’. In addition, the station moved from the old Novaliches studios to the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong, just in time to welcome 2014.

All told, 2014 is shaping up to be an even better year for Radyo5, especially now that they have upgraded their facilities and relocated to the virtual center of Metro Manila. And with the drivers continuing to prefer Radyo5 over its AM counterparts, expect the station to once again top the motorists’ surveys.

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Orly Mercado Returns

If you were listening to Radyo5 92.3 News FM this week, you were surprised to hear a familiar voice on the airwaves. The voice I’m referring to is that of Orly Mercado, who returns to broadcasting thanks to his new morning program “Orly Mercado, All Ready!”

For those not familiar with Mercado, he once served as Defense Secretary under President Joseph Estrada. He also served as a senator during the presidencies of Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos. As a broadcaster, he was one of the hosts of the longest-running public service program “Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko” on GMA 7, among other roles. Overall, he logged over 40 years behind the mic, starting as a student DJ for the RBS (predecessor to GMA 7).

“Orly Mercado, All Ready!” will replace the timeslot vacated by Neil Ocampo’s “Todo Balita”. Ocampo had been on-leave since April. Like “Todo Balita” before, Mercado’s new program will go head-to-head against fellow news and commentary programs DZMM‘s “Kabayan: Kapangyarihan ng Mamamayan, Balita at Talakayan” and DZBB’s “Saksi”. Unfortunately, television viewers would not have a chance to watch Mercado on television, as AksyonTV airs a simulcast of the TV5 morning show “Good Morning Club”.

We all wish Mercado luck in his return to broadcasting.

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