news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Defying Father Time: Tina Monzon-Palma’s Return to The World Tonight

There is somewhat of a renewed vibe within ‘The World Tonight’.

In early January, viewers were surprised when broadcast legend Tina Monzon-Palma returned from her lengthy sabbatical to resume her duties as anchor of ‘The World Tonight’. It was as if she never left the confines of the ABS-CBN News Channel; after all, the network continued to feature Tina in their station IDs in spite of her absence.

But for the first time since Angelo Castro Jr.’s death six years ago, Tina would have a full-time co-anchor on her side.

That co-anchor was Tony Velasquez, who had been promoted to the position in 2017 and had been anchoring the newscast by himself in Tina’s absence. The two were no strangers to each other; Tony having previously handled some of the national and world news segments for several years.

Getting a partner of Tony’s caliber helped alleviate the pressure off of Tina’s back. Not only that, with ‘The World Tonight’ having cut its running time back to 30 minutes, Tina was no longer required to do the heavy lifting.

Still, there were some occasions in which she stuttered in the middle of a newscast, which is perhaps an obvious excuse for an aging news anchor like her. Regardless, Tina still possesses a sharp mind harnessed through years of experience, but at this point of her career, even she cannot prevent the ravages of time.

While Tina did return to ‘The World Tonight’, she did not resume her position as host of ‘Talkback’. Instead, the show was given on a full-time basis to Karmina Constantino, with Christian Esguerra as the substitute in her absence.

Given her age, it was only the right thing for Tina to just focus on ‘The World Tonight’. But for loyal viewers who have missed her immeasurable presence on the desk, it was worth the price of admission.

It remains to be seen if Tina Monzon-Palma can still be able to hold her fort amid a youth movement in Philippine broadcast news. But as long as someone of her caliber is present and willing to pass the torch to the future, everything will be just fine.

Advertisements
Standard
business, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

A Look at the ‘New and Improved’ ANC

The ABS-CBN News Channel continues to get better.

The past few months saw a gradual makeover in ANC’s programming lineup. It all started in late January when the sports-centric newscast ‘Gametime’ premiered with ABS-CBN Sports analyst Migs Bustos at the helm.

To give way to ‘Gametime’, ANC needed to make some sacrifices. First, the network’s flagship newscast ‘The World Tonight’ was shortened back to its original 30-minute duration, then ‘Market Edge with Cathy Yang’ made some slight changes to their running time; the 9:00 a.m. edition was cut to 30 minutes, while the 3:00 p.m. edition was extended to an hour.

Late February saw another new addition to the ANC family, as longtime international news anchor Annalisa Burgos joined the network. Her arrival also led to a rebrand of ANC’s early morning newscast, with ‘Mornings @ ANC’ morphing to ‘Early Edition’.

The following week, ANC shored up its afternoon and primetime lineups as well. Here is a look at the 4:30-8:00 p.m. weekday schedule:

  • 4:30 p.m. – Hot Copy on Headstart
  • 5:00 p.m. – ANCalerts
  • 5:30 p.m. – Top Story
  • 6:30 p.m. – Hardball (M), Green Living (TU), Mukha (W), Dayaw (TH), Cityscape (F)
  • 7:00 p.m. – The Bureau
  • 7:30 p.m. – Talkback (M), Beyond Politics (TU), Future Perfect (W), The Boss (TH), Shoptalk (F)

To summarize, ‘ANCalerts’, ‘Top Story’ and ANC’s human interest shows were bumped by 30 minutes, while ‘Hot Copy on Headstart’ was moved two hours earlier. A primetime edition of ‘The Bureau’, anchored by Ron Cruz, was added, while ‘Talkback’, ‘Beyond Politics’ and ‘Shoptalk’ were shortened to 30 minutes.

Finally, the ‘Early Edition’ segment ‘Matters of Fact’ was given replay schedules as well. Hosted by Christian Esguerra, ‘Matters of Fact’ replays are aired on weekdays at 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

The weekend schedule was slightly tweaked as well. Other than replays of ANC’s talk and human interest programs, the only significant move by the network came when ‘On the Money’, a financial advice program hosted by Edric Mendoza and Salve Duplito, was moved to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

After all that analyzing, it is pretty clear that the ABS-CBN News braintrust has done a very good job improving what has been a very superior product. Kudos to Ging Reyes and Nadia Trinidad for once again playing key roles in maintaining ANC’s status as the Philippines’ premier news network.

The process, of course, was a long and carefully thought one. But at the end of the day, there is no stopping the ABS-CBN News Channel in their continuous quest to innovate and satisfy the needs of business leaders and decision makers.

Standard
action, cable TV, concerts, drama, entertainment, fantasy, hits, music, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, reality show, songs, specials, suspense, talent show, talk show, television, variety show

FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Standard
news, Philippines, television

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.

 

Standard
action, entertainment, fantasy, news, Philippines, Sports, suspense, television, United States

TV5 Must Revamp Primetime Lineup

Odd one out: For TV5 to become truly alternative anew, they need to retire 'Aksyon Prime' for good and go with 'Aksyon Tonite' as their lone evening newscast. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

Odd one out: TV5’s primetime revamp may require ‘Aksyon Prime’ to merge with ‘Aksyon Tonite’. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

It is clear that TV5’s primetime lineup is going nowhere.

Questions abound the said lineup once Chot Reyes made it clear that he envisioned a more ‘alternative’ approach for the network. For instance, ‘Aksyon Prime’ and ‘Aksyon Tonite’ now seem out of place in Chot’s new approach, due to its ‘masa’-fied format and competition with ABS-CBN and GMA newscasts.

To make matters worse, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ recently added unproven journos in Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas, both of whom seem more suited to sports than news. And finally, PBA’s overall poor showing last season leave a lot to be desired.

With all problems considered, here is a to-do list that TV5 must do to revamp its primetime lineup.

1. Merge and Reformat Aksyon Prime and Aksyon Tonite

Two evening newscasts were too much for News5, considering the plight it endured of late. Thus, merging both ‘Aksyon Prime’ and ‘Aksyon Tonite’ into one nightly newscast is a necessity.

If that’s not enough, this merged newscast will employ a more hard news approach, and will air at 9:00 p.m. Hence, it will compete against CNN Philippines’ ‘Newsroom’, GMA News TV’s ‘State of the Nation’, ANC’s ‘The World Tonight’, and other similar newscasts.

As for the anchors and title, look no further. The newscast will carry the ‘Aksyon Tonite’ name, and Ed Lingao and Luchi Cruz-Valdes will be the anchors.

2. Replace Aksyon Prime with Sports360

The PBA games are a regular fixture on TV5 during weeknights, but the presence of ‘Aksyon Prime’ became a bane to viewers and game attendants. Placing ‘Sports360’ instead should alleviate this burden.

The format of ‘Sports360’ will remain the same. It will air for 15 minutes, and will focus mostly on viewer interaction and game analysis.

3. Foreign Canned Shows from 6 to 9 on Non-PBA Game Days

Finally, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on a non-PBA game day will be dominated by TV5’s American action, suspense and fantasy shows. Doesn’t get more alternative than this.

Chot Reyes’ vision of a more ‘alternative’ TV5 may take time getting used to. But as far as the primetime lineup goes, solving this dilemma should be the first step, provided that management is smart enough to realize its flaws.

However, it doesn’t mean that this proposal will be achieved. Still, one can only hope that Chot Reyes will make the soundest of decisions in order to restore TV5’s fortunes, even if it means no more local entertainment fare.

Standard
news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

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.

Standard