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Three’s a Crowd: Aksyon Tonite Becomes a Three-Anchor Team

Looks like the solo anchor setup on ‘Aksyon’ newscasts is not working for News5.

Last Monday, News5 decided to once again revamp ‘Aksyon Tonite’, adding erstwhile weather reporters Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas to the newscast alongside Ed Lingao. Both Lia and Marga were intended to be ‘anchors in training’ as far as News5 is concerned.

This marked the first time that ‘Aksyon Tonite’ went with a three-anchor setup. Past lineups of the newscast featured either a two-anchor setup (Paolo Bediones/Ed Lingao and Cheryl Cosim) or a solo anchor setup (Ed Lingao).

The reaction to the move was mostly negative. They argued¬†that Lia and Marga were the latest in a line of ‘entertainers masquerading as journalists’ (EMAJ), as the two lacked any journalistic background owing to their past experience as sports reporters (Lia for Solar Sports, Marga for ABC-5).

While Lia and Marga’s addition to ‘Aksyon Tonite’ serves to develop the two into well-rounded journalists, it is clear that News5 is once again dooming themselves with these questionable moves. A rundown¬†of other¬†late primetime newscasts on major privately-owned networks should show the foolishness of News5’s decision.

  • Bandila (ABS-CBN) – Julius Babao, Karen Davila, Ces Drilon
  • Saksi (GMA) – Pia Arcangel, Arnold Clavio
  • Newsroom¬†(CNN Philippines) – Mitzi Borromeo
  • State of the Nation (GMA News TV) – Jessica Soho
  • Eagle News International (Net 25) – Alma Angeles, Sam Cepeda
  • Why News (UNTV News¬†and Rescue) – Gerry Alcantara, Darlene Basingan, Diego Castro III
  • The World Tonight (ANC) – Tina Monzon-Palma

The list above shows that all listed anchors are indeed legitimate journalists. Too bad for News5 and its head Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

Going down the EMAJ route just to revamp ‘Aksyon Tonite’ should serve as a way¬†to destroy¬†its once-credible aura. When the newscast was anchored by Cheryl Cosim and Ed Lingao, many praised it for its emphasis on hard news, which helped restore its credibility that was lost during Paolo Bediones’ time.

Now that they promoted Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas to serve alongside Ed Lingao, expect that praise to turn against ‘Aksyon Tonite’. They may¬†be added just to gain experience, but unless they grow and learn quickly, they might become the next Menchu Macapagal or Hillary Isaac.

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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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FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit¬†the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust¬†with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the¬†‘Batang Gilas’ in¬†the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also¬†witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’.¬†TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs¬†that were cancelled in his first full year in charge¬†include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the¬†Kapatid network introduced¬†‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage,¬†much to the dismay of¬†the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left¬†‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But¬†perhaps¬†the¬†biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion¬†signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo¬†Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’¬†failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

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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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For TV5, It’s All About ‘Aksyon’

On July 21, TV5 will officially integrate¬†their newscasts under¬†the ‘Aksyon’ banner. The newscasts will be titled ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, ‘Aksyon Prime’, and ‘Aksyon Tonite’.

But prior to the relaunch, several other TV5 programs and entities have used the word ‘Aksyon’ since the brand was launched in 2010.

Aksyon JournalisMO

The first late night news program of TV5 following the¬†sale to¬†Manny V. Pangilinan, ‘Aksyon JournalisMO’ was first anchored by¬†Martin Andanar, Cherie Mercado and Jove Francisco. Andanar was later replaced by Atty. Mike Templo, followed by Paolo Bediones. The newscast¬†ran from October 25, 2010 to February 17, 2012, and features online¬†opinions¬†of citizens regarding various national issues.

Aksyon Solusyon

The public service program has been airing on¬†Radyo5 92.3 NewsFM since 2011, and was first hosted by Cheryl Cosim and Richard Gordon. Cosim was later replaced by Amelyn Veloso, before current host Alex Tinsay took over the program in late 2012. Tinsay is now¬†the¬†sole host of the program after Gordon’s departure in early 2013. ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ also airs on AksyonTV.

AksyonTV

Named after the flagship newscast, AksyonTV was launched on February 21, 2011. Once hailed as the first¬†24-hour free TV news network in the Filipino language, AksyonTV later cut its operational hours due to rising costs. The network currently airs a mix of Radyo5 programs, ‘Aksyon’ newscasts, News5 programs, and Sports5 events.

Aksyon Weekend

The weekend edition of ‘Aksyon’, it first aired on April 10, 2010. The original anchors were¬†Andanar, Mercado and Francisco, all of whom would go on to¬†anchor ‘Aksyon JournalisMO’. Amelyn Veloso, Naomi Dayrit and Maricel Halili later took over Mercado’s vacated seat.

Initially an early evening newscast, it was moved to late nights on October 10, 2010 to make way for ‘Willing Willie’. Twenty days later, Atty. Templo replaced Andanar, after which the newscast was renamed ‘Aksyon Sabado’ and ‘Aksyon Linggo’. They were later replaced by ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ in August 2012.

‘Aksyon Weekend’ was revived on January 16, 2013, with Raffy Tulfo and Grace Lee as anchors. Unlike the previous version, however, ‘Aksyon Weekend’ only aired on Saturday afternoons, mainly due to sports coverage and weekend entertainment programs. The revived ‘Aksyon Weekend’ ended its broadcasts on July 12, 2014.

Aksyon Sports

Hosted by Dennis Principe and Ron delos Reyes, ‘Aksyon Sports’ has been airing on Radyo5 92.3 News FM since 2011. The program also aired on AksyonTV, but was later cancelled. ‘Aksyon Sports’ solely focuses on recaps of sports events and discussions regarding various sports issues.

Aksyon Breaking and Related Bulletins

‘Aksyon Breaking’ (AksyonTV), ‘Aksyon Alert’ (TV5) and ‘Aksyon News Update’ (Radyo5 92.3 News FM) serve as the main news bulletins of News5.¬†While ‘Aksyon Alert’ and ‘Aksyon News Update’ continue to air, ‘Aksyon Breaking’ was cancelled¬†on July 13, 2014, in anticipation of a reformat.

Regional Aksyon

TV5 affiliates in Cebu and Davao air a¬†regional¬†version of ‘Aksyon’. ‘Aksyon Bisaya’¬†was first launched on July 18, 2011, after TV5 launched its Cebu affiliate. ‘Aksyon Dabaw’ was then launched on May 5, 2014, serving viewers of TV5 Davao.

Reaksyon

Formerly a stand-alone news and commentary program, it will now serve as a segment for ‘Aksyon Prime’ beginning July 21. Luchi Cruz-Valdes will continue to host the segment in addition to her anchoring duties on ‘Aksyon Prime’.

InterAksyon.com

The official news website of TV5, InterAksyon.com was launched in 2010, following the sale of the network to Manny V. Pangilinan. In addition to various news articles, clips of News5 programs and newscasts on TV and radio are also featured via its sister site News5 Everywhere.

This Monday, TV5 takes the ‘Aksyon’ name to new heights, in the form of¬†‘Aksyon sa Umaga’ (mornings), ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ (noontime), ‘Aksyon Prime’ (primetime) and ‘Aksyon Tonite’ (late nights). For News5, it is about strengthening and unifying the brand, believing that ‘more than the news, it is about action’ (‘higit sa balita, aksyon’). And that is exactly what they are attempting to accomplish.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not their new initiative will pay off. But for now, News5 will welcome a change of scenery, and will start over with a clean slate.

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TV5 Rebrands Its Newscasts Under the Aksyon Banner

Starting July 14, TV5’s ‘Aksyon’ ¬†newscasts will not only be seen in the early evening, but also in the morning, at noontime and during late nights. (Photo credit: News5 Everywhere)

Goodbye ‘Good Morning Ser’, ‘Andar ng mga Balita’, and¬†‘Pilipinas News’.

As part of its ongoing ‘Signal No. 5: Umuulan ng Saya’ campaign, TV5 has announced that its newscasts will be rebranded under the ‘Aksyon’ banner¬†beginning this July 14. The newscasts are as follows: ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, and ‘Aksyon Tonite’. The three newscasts will be joined by the flagship early evening newscast ‘Aksyon’.

As a result of the rebrand,¬†¬†‘Good Morning Ser’ (formerly ‘Good Morning Club’), ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and¬†‘Pilipinas News’ will bid farewell today after¬†a three-year run.¬†‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ will then air its final newscast on Sunday, with a replacement yet to be determined.

‘Aksyon sa Umaga’ will retain the services of Martin Andanar and Lourd de Veyra from ‘Good Morning Ser’. In addition, Grace Lee, who previously anchored ‘Aksyon Weekend’ and hosted ‘Good Morning Girls’, will be added as the third anchor. Like its predecessor, it will be a two-hour news and talk-based program.

‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ will be anchored by Raffy Tulfo and Cherie Mercado. The ‘T3: Reload’ and ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ host¬†is no stranger to anchoring a noontime newscast, having anchored ‘Balitaang Tapat’ two years earlier. Meanwhile Cherie Mercado moves from late nights to noontime¬†after anchoring ‘Pilipinas News’ for over two years.

The flagship ‘Aksyon’ newscast will still be anchored by Erwin Tulfo, but his new partner will be no less than News5’s Head of News and Information, Luchi Cruz-Valdes. Luchi’s ‘Reaksyon’ program will no longer be independent from any newscast, but instead it will be incorporated as one of the segments of ‘Aksyon’.

And finally, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ will retain Paolo Bediones from ‘Pilipinas News’, but Cheryl Cosim from ‘Aksyon’ will now serve as his new partner. Like its predecessor, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ will be a 30-minute newscast that will recap¬†the biggest news of the day.

The rebranded ‘Aksyon’ newscasts, along with ‘Aksyon Alert’ and ‘Aksyon Breaking’ news updates, are intended to strengthen and unify TV5’s news department under the¬†‘One Brand News Program’ approach. But it remains to be seen if the rebrand to¬†‘Aksyon’ will pay off.

New Timeslot for ‘T3’

‘T3: Reload’ was scheduled to move to a new timeslot this Monday. However, the change of timeslot came a week early.

Last Monday, viewers were surprised to see Raffy and Ben Tulfo host their public service program at noontime. Monday’s edition of ‘T3’ was actually a replay of last Friday’s episode, but it was not until the live Tuesday edition¬†that the Tulfo brothers officially confirmed the show’s new timeslot.

‘T3: Reload”s move to noontime was intended¬†to accommodate the NCAA Season 90 seniors basketball game on TV5, which moved to 4:00 p.m. from 2:00 p.m. the previous week. However, AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM did not air the program simultaneously (‘Relasyon’ of Atty. Mel Sta. Maria and Luchi Cruz-Valdes was aired instead), as they were not informed of ‘T3”s premature timeslot change.

However, expect both AksyonTV and Radyo5 to make some changes in their programming lineup this Monday, in order to accommodate ‘T3: Reload’ and ‘Aksyon’ newscasts.

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