cartoon, education, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Is RPN-9 Destined to Return?

The RPN name and logo was last used on air in 2012, after which Solar Television took full control of the network’s airtime. (Logo courtesy of the Radio Philippines Network)

All eyes are on Channel 9 and a possible return to the RPN name.

On July 21, Solar News Channel decided to drop the word ‘Solar’ from its news programs. Consequentially, the renamed programs are now simply known as ‘Daybreak’ (morning), ‘The Headlines’ (news updates per 15 minutes), ‘Newsday’ (afternoon), ‘Cebuano News’ (Cebuano language afternoon), ‘Kapampangan News’ (Kapampangan language afternoon), ‘Network News’ (early evening), ‘Nightly News’ (late evening), and ‘Sports Desk’ (sports).

In a related development, Media Newser Philippines also reported through a network insider that News9, the news department of the original Radio Philippines Network, will also be revived to replace the Solar News name, with a target launch slated for the last quarter of 2014. The report came after Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation acquired RPN’s stake from Solar Entertainment.

Then starting August 16, cartoons and educational programs will take over SNC’s weekend morning programming. SNC’s ‘Kids Weekend’ will feature the return of ‘Sesame Street’ to Philippine television, as well as other memorable cartoons such as the ‘Care Bears’, ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, ‘Batman’ and the DC Comics Universe, and ‘Pokemon’.

With all these developments, does this mean the old Radio Philippines Network name will return on the air? Or will this lead to an even bigger plan?

Let’s face it, Channel 9 is and will always be known as RPN-9. Not Solar News Channel, C/S 9, Solar TV, ETC, or any other incarnation in its history. RPN has been an iconic brand on Philippine television, and through good times and bad, the network always provided a great show for its viewers.

More importantly, with SNC’s slow move away from a purely news-oriented network, the possibility of bringing back the RPN name on air seems certain. Even the revival of the long-running but recently retired newscast ‘NewsWatch’ is bound to happen.

But there is one problem. Ramon Ang recently acquired a 30% stake of GMA Network, which means that he now has two stations in his watch. According to Media Newser Philippines, a merger between GMA and Solar News is inevitable, unless Ang gives up partial ownership of Channel 9.

Ang’s ownership of both networks will certainly affect the fortunes of both parties. Since GMA News and Public Affairs is the more recognizable and more credible of the two, they will be more than happy to absorb Solar News into their department. And as far as viewers are concerned, Solar News remains an unproven commodity even after three years of continuous operation.

Then again, these are all possibilities and might be subject to change in the near future.

It is clear that the sun is definitely setting on Channel 9’s latest incarnation. As the ‘Solar’ name is quietly being retired from the brand, a new era in the history of the Radio Philippines Network is about to take place.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Comparison Between News Tickers of Philippine News Networks

In all news networks, the most frequent graphic used in programs is the news ticker. These graphics were used to display the latest local and foreign news, along with the occasional entertainment and sports stories that develop in time.

Currently there are four all-news networks in the country: the ABS-CBN News Channel, GMA News TV, AksyonTV, and Solar News Channel. Each network uses a news ticker in most of their news and documentary programs. However, their usage of the ticker varies, and some even have flaws that accompany them.

With that in mind, I decided to compare the tickers of all the news networks and look at the strengths and weaknesses that each of them has. And to make this comparison as consistent as possible, the tickers used in the news programs of ABS-CBN, TV5 and GMA are excluded.

ABS-CBN News Channel

The oldest of the four current all-news networks, ANC’s ticker currently has the most consistent look of the four. Their ticker was the first in the country to display one headline at a time rather than the common ‘scrolling’ approach. They also kept up with the technological advances in television graphics by displaying the ticker in a three-dimensional style.

What I’m impressed about is that ANC uses the ticker in ALL of their programs, including re-runs of ABS-CBN public affairs programs. They also did a good job in placing the graphics of their programs above the ticker in order to prevent a distraction in case it airs again. They did have one flaw, which is the few inches of space separating the ticker, the left side  and the bottom of the screen. I hope they can lengthen and place the ticker all the way to the bottom so as not to see the remainder of the studio during live broadcasts.

Rating: 4

GMA News TV

If there is one network that defines the word ‘failure’, it is the network owned by Gilberto Duavit and Felipe Gozon. And its sister network is even worse. Already with a reputation of not airing 24/7, GMA News TV exacerbated the situation by using TWO news tickers. So why waste a lot of your money by operating two tickers, when in fact you only needed one? I just don’t get it.

The best ticker for GMA News TV is the black-clocked one used for news programs. I don’t prefer the red-clocked version used in their other programs since it is too generic and frequently interferes with the on-screen bugs; the black one is more beautiful and more appropriate to the technological advancements of the industry. And like ANC, they should place the ticker at the bottom of the screen instead of giving a few inches of separation. Overall GNTV’s ticker is a near-meh, but not as worse as the next one on the list.

Rating: 2

AksyonTV

I can’t stand AksyonTV’s ticker, mainly because of the Radyo5 92.3 News FM logo displayed after every headline. The worst part of it is that they only show it during simulcasts of Radyo5 programs, therefore creating an illusion that I was watching a TeleRadyo copycat than an AksyonTV program. And the ticker’s look was so late 1990s.

However, I do praise the placing of the ticker at the bottom, leaving no space between it. But that alone cannot make up for AksyonTV’s deficiencies, so I’ll give the network a thumbs down. It would be better if you replace the Radyo5 logo with AksyonTV’s, and use the ticker on all your programs except the live TV5 simulcasts and sporting events.

Rating: 1

Solar News Channel

While a young player in the news department, SNC has the most technologically advanced graphics of the four. And their ticker is by far the most impressive. SNC’s meticulous approach can be seen on the bottom of their screen, with the left side displaying the type of news story and the right side scrolling the headlines. Even with different looks to accompany different programs, the same basic structure of SNC’s ticker still applies.

If there was one thing I wanted to change, it is the ticker that accompanies ‘Solar Headlines‘. While simplistic, it does not serve its purpose as the other ticker. Perhaps it is time to drop that ticker in favor of the one used in newscasts such as ‘Solar Network News‘, which is more informative to the eyes.

Rating: 3.5

The addition of news networks in the country helped widen the reach of news reporting. No longer relying on newsprint and hour-long newscasts, these networks are here to deliver a more detailed coverage of events without any complications. And if there is one thing to improve, it is at the bottom of the screen where headlines are displayed. And it starts with the graphics staff fine-tuning the necessary details.

 

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