news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

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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AksyonTV Needs Improvement

AksyonTV’s programming is in a dire need of improvement. (Logo courtesy of ABC Development Corporation).

In a previous article, I discussed about TV5’s continuous programming rebuild. And while management has been trying their best to improve Channel 5, the same cannot be said of its sister network on the UHF band, which has been in a state of regression since last year.

AksyonTV, once the only all-Filipino 24/7 news channel, has been on the decline of late. Back in January I wrote about some of the changes that took place within the said network, and I waited a while in hopes of watching them flip the switch. A few months later, poof. AksyonTV’s became a shell of its former self.

The decline of the network is noticeable in its programming. Replays of TV5’s public affairs programs become more frequent, while live simulcasts of TV5 newscasts were seemingly more distracting than ever thanks to the increasing amount of sports events. Not even an evening replay of its morning newscast ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ helped matters.

So what to do with the mess that is engulfing AksyonTV? Here are my thoughts towards improving the network.

First of all, simulcasting TV5’s newscasts should stop. I mean, no more ‘Good Morning Ser’, ‘Aksyon’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ on Channel 41. The best that AksyonTV could do at this point is to have ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ as its late morning/noontime newscast, and ‘Balitang 60’ as its 9:00 p.m. newscast. That way, AksyonTV helps spread out the news in case of up-to-the-minute reports, while attracting late-arriving viewers that want some more news updates.

Secondly, make ‘Orly Mercado All Ready’ as the network’s early morning program. At this point, the now-truncated ‘Good Morning Ser’ have left the 7:00 a.m. slot open to rerun programming, which does not bode well to AksyonTV. Having Orly Mercado simulcast his radio program on television will help matters.

And finally, AksyonTV needs to go back and produce its original programs. The lineup of AksyonTV, other than the presence of live sports events, is wide open. Adding some new original and informative programs will help balance the equilibrium, while at the same time reestablishing its reputation as a reliable news station.

In short, AksyonTV should not become fodder to TV5’s programs. Instead, they should focus on a different set of programs to a different set of audience. That way, AksyonTV will become more stable, more reliable, and more driven in providing viewers more information to digest. And that improvement should commence as soon as possible.

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By Popular Demand, More PBA Games on TV5

TV5 will now air at least seven live PBA games per week with the addition of a Monday playdate and the second game of a Saturday doubleheader.

After the highly successful broadcast of the Philippine Cup playoffs, the PBA and TV5 have agreed to make some changes to the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup schedule beginning today.

Mondays will now be a regular part of the PBA schedule, with a special Tuesday playdate scheduled for March 25. Previously the Monday and Tuesday playdates were utilized only when necessary and during the playoffs. But with the PBA already running behind schedule, and with preparation time a must for the Gilas players, the addition of a Monday playdate is an absolute necessity for the league to devote to the national cause.

In addition, TV5 will now air both doubleheaders on Saturdays, as opposed to only one during the Philippine Cup and early in the Commissioner’s Cup. As a result, TV5 will now have at least seven live games per week as opposed to only five in the original setup.

But while the Kapatid network will broadcast two games live on weekends, the original weekday format will remain the same, with only the second game airing live at 8:00 p.m., and the first game airing ‘via satellite’ at 11:10 p.m. AksyonTV will still carry all the games live.

Thanks to the addition of a second Saturday game, TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ schedule will now be as follows:

Saturdays

2:45 – PBA first game

4:45 – Aksyon Weekend

5:15 – PBA second game

7:15 – Tropa Mo Ko Unli

8:15 – Celebrity Dance Battle

9:15 – Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman

10:15 – Kaya

11:15 – SpinNation

Sundays

3:00 – PBA doubleheader

7:15 – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

8:15 – Wow Mali Pa Rin

9:15 – Sunday Sineplex

10:45 – Juan Direction

11:15 – Pilipinas News

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup will be taking a break from April 3-6 to give way to the All-Star Game, which is expected to bring back the PBA All-Stars vs. Gilas format of the previous year. The single-round nine-game eliminations will end on April 20.

 

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Coming Soon: Confessions of a Torpe, Plus Other TV5 Updates

Both Ogie Alcasid and Alice Dixson will be part of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, slated to launch this March 3.

Last October, TV5 decided to distinguish themselves from its competitors by airing a more light-hearted primetime comedy and drama series ‘Madam Chairman’. This March, the Kapatid network is set to introduce a similarly-themed series as a worthy follow-up.

Enter ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, a series topbilled by Ogie Alcasid, Bayani Agbayani, Gelli de Belen, Wendell Ramos, Plita Corrales, Alice Dixson, Jojo Alejar, Albie Casino, and Mark Neumann. This will be Alcasid’s first weeknight primetime series as a Kapatid; his intended first series ‘The Gift’ was shelved for the time being. Alcasid, de Belen and Ramos are also part of the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, while Neumann and Dixson recently starred in the Studio5 original ‘Lady Next Door’. ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ debuts this March 3.

The departure of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ enabled News5 to fill the 10:30 slot with a pair of documentaries. First aired was ‘Kaya’, hosted by News5 executives Patrick Paez and Luchi Cruz-Valdes. The two-parter, aired last February 8 and 15, tackled issues such as stem cell treatment and the impending worldwide disaster that may affect the Earth. Tonight, another documentary called ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ will focus on the country’s natural resources and the responsibility that comes through it. The documentary will be hosted by Interaksyon.com editor-in-chief Roby Alampay.

And on the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block, ‘Bigtime’ will take over the slot vacated by ‘Dayo’. Aired every Thursday before ‘Pilipinas News’ and hosted by Twink Macaraig, ‘Bigtime’ will focus on various individuals as they share their hard work and triumph, as well as secrets to their success.

Meanwhile, starting February 24, ‘Aksyon’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ will now be broadcast inside a newly-built virtual studio at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. In addition, the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be aired Monday midnight on TV5 and its affiliates. And finally, the U.S. NCAA March Madness is coming to TV5 this March, with further details coming in future articles.

It has been said that the only way TV5 can be relevant today is when they introduce alternatives to already established norms in television viewership. So far, it has paid off despite committing several missteps. And with more alternative programs coming in the succeeding weeks, expect TV5 to expand its effort in bringing a different kind of programming to more knowledgeable viewers.

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PBA Quarterfinals Scheduling Quirks

Today will mark the start of the PBA Philippine Cup playoff rounds. As is the case the past two seasons, the playoff games will be played on a daily basis up until the Semifinals. However, there are some scheduling quirks which may baffle some viewers.

Tuesday’s doubleheader will have Petron vs. Barako Bull, and Talk N’ Text vs. San Mig Super Coffee. However, the former will not be shown live on TV as AksyonTV is slated to air weekly United Football League doubleheaders. Instead it will shown on a delayed basis over at TV5 after ‘Reaksyon’. The latter will also not be seen on AksyonTV, but will have a live broadcast on TV5.

For Wednesday’s doubleheader featuring Rain or Shine vs. Globalport, and Barangay Ginebra vs. Alaska, the first game will be a live broadcast on AksyonTV and a delayed broadcast on TV5, while the second game will be aired live on both networks. However, there will be no games on Thursday as TV5 is scheduled to air the pilot episode of the weekly drama series ‘Obsession’.

Friday’s doubleheader featuring the four teams that played on Tuesday will follow the same broadcast pattern as Wednesday’s doubleheader. But should both Wednesday doubleheader brackets extend to a do-or-die match, the first game will be shown live on both AksyonTV and TV5, while the second game will be seen only on AksyonTV. Now here’s the dilemma: TV5 does not air the second game on Saturdays, but because ‘What’s Up Doods?’ is presumably cancelled, they may move both ‘SPINNation’ and ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ to that timeslot to allow the second PBA quarterfinals game to air.

Finally, the Sunday games will have Game 3 of either one or two series that played on Friday, and will be seen on TV5 and AksyonTV. In short, Sports5 is following virtually the same broadcast script that have been followed since the start of the eliminations.

With that, good luck to all the teams in the playoffs, and good luck to all the viewers trying to watch a PBA game on TV.

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The ‘New’ AksyonTV in 2014

The entry of ‘Juan Direction’ to AksyonTV virtually changed the landscape of the all-news network arm of TV5.

When AksyonTV decided to cease its 24-hour broadcast last December, there were hints that the network will revamp its programming and improve its reach. And as 2014 got underway, viewers were treated to a ‘different’ AksyonTV than in years past.

Gone were AksyonTV original programs ‘Cocktales’, ‘Wasak’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Dokumentado’, ‘Dong Puno de Kalibre’, and ‘Presinto 5’. The cancellation of these programs had an adverse effect on TV5. With the exception of the PBA replays, TV5 has been signing off after ‘Reaksyon’ on weeknights; their sign-off comes in much earlier than that of the government station PTV-4 and former blocktimer IBC-13.

As a result, the ‘new’ AksyonTV now features TV5 original programs, AKTV carryovers such as the PBA, NCAA and boxing events, Radyo5 simulcasts, newscasts such as ‘Aksyon’, ‘Pilipinas News’ and ‘Andar ng mga Balita’, and several remaining AksyonTV original programs. But perhaps the most radical example of the ‘new’ AksyonTV was ‘Juan Direction’, which is currently part of TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ slate of entertainment programs.

Despite claiming to be a ‘documentary-reality’, ‘Juan Direction’ is mostly entertainment-based, which is not what AksyonTV is. The fact that it airs on TV5’s entertainment block still bothers me. Would it be good to see a quintet of muscular Fil-Brits, all of which have showbiz potential, enjoy a trip around the country on an all-news network? I don’t think so, unless you watch GMA News TV and their movie blocks.

This year is an adjustment period for AksyonTV, as signal improvements, programming changes and the move to the Media Center in Mandaluyong are in progress. But without its core public affairs programs, the transition period of the network may be tougher than anyone can imagine.

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