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News5 Needs a Revamp (Part I)

The problems surrounding TV5 has also spread to the news department.

Within two months, News5 lost two of its regular anchors to the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. In early June, Martin Andanar was appointed secretary of the Presidential Communication and Operations Office, then just recently, Cherie Mercado accepted the post of spokesperson by the Department of Transportation.

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The task given to me by President Rody Duterte, to bring our government media agencies back to its good old glory days, is colossal. This requires a clear vision, 100% dedication, extraordinary capacity, political will and the grit to fight inefficiencies caused by corruption. Difficult as it may be, I wholeheartedly accepted the challenge to serve our 16th President and our Country. Now, I'm in the process of hiring the best, the brightest and the boldest. My friends, I ask for your fervent prayers and support because the road ahead will be long and rough. Thank you President Digong for the full trust and confidence. It is truly an honor to be in your cabinet. Like what President Digong always says again and again, "STOP". Yes I will do everything to STOP corruption at the Presidential Communication and Operations Office. That's my commitment. #DU30 #Stop #ChangeIsComing

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Martin had been the face of News5 for many years, having served as an anchor and executive, as well as the voice of Radyo5 92.3 News FM. On the other hand, Cherie was a holdover from ABC 5 during the ownership of Tonyboy Cojuangco, having been employed by the network for over a decade.

Ironically, their departures were felt by the Tulfo brothers themselves. Since Martin’s departure, Erwin Tulfo has become the sole host of his Radyo5 program ‘Punto Asintado’, while brother Raffy remained the lone anchor of ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ following Cherie’s departure (though at times he was paired with usual weather reporter Marga Vargas).

In addition, Cherie’s radio program ‘Trabaho Lang’ was cancelled following her resignation. That said, it was clear to News5 that their decision to leave for the government is a bitter pill to swallow.

But their departures are not the only reason why News5 is at an all-time low. Programming, content and questionable personnel decisions have become the Achilles’ heel of the division for a long time, and it dragged TV5 further down once they underwent a total housecleaning.

For instance, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, the newscast anchored by Raffy Tulfo, borders more towards sensationalized news. In fact, the show goes as far as to be considered a ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ in newscast form, mainly due to the inclusion of the ‘Itimbre Mo Kay Tulfo’ segment.

In contrast, ‘Aksyon Tonite’ anchors Ed Lingao and Cheryl Cosim have done a great job minimizing sensationalized news in favor of national issues. That said, it’s hard to fathom why ‘Aksyon”s other newscasts failed to follow the example set by ‘Aksyon Tonite’.

Radyo5 92.3 News FM also has its own share of problems, due to the presence of vacant timeslots. The fact that they lacked any capable personnel to host its programs is a clear sign that the only news-centric FM radio station in the country is on the rocks.

The lack of public service and commentary programs on TV5 are also glaring. The only such programs that currently air on TV5 right now are ‘ReAksyon’ and ‘Alagang Kapatid’, with ‘History with Lourd’ and ‘Public Atorni’ airing reruns.

Their hiring of ‘EMAJs’ (entertainers masquerading as journalists) have also affected the division. Let’s face it, no one would want guys like Jun Sabayton, Lourd de Veyra, Grace Lee and Shawn Yao to man the network’s news coverage.

Finally, AksyonTV’s decision to end most of its Radyo5 simulcasts in favor of blocktimers such as ‘EZ Shop’, ‘Shop TV’ and ‘Shop Japan’ is a clear sign that News5 is no longer intent on sustaining the embattled channel. That said, AksyonTV could be on the verge of becoming a predominantly sports channel in a similar vein as ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

So what urgent plans are needed for News5 to regain its old glory? Find out this Thursday on Part II of this article.

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TV5 A Wreck Under the MVP Ownership

Manny V. Pangilinan’s ambitious ventures turned out to be disastrous for TV5, and the network is now on an identity crisis. (Photo credit: Philstar.com)

Any improvement on TV5 is now an impossible dream.

In just two weeks, TV5 went from being a promising station to a shell of its former self. Even sister station AksyonTV is feeling the sting of TV5’s seeming downfall.

Much of the blame is centered on its owner, Manny V. Pangilinan. The businessman known as MVP purchased TV5 back in 2010 and was promised to improve the station in a few years’ time.

But instead of upgrading its signal strength and nationwide reach (a weakness of the then-ABC 5 during the ownership of Tonyboy Cojuangco), Pangilinan chose to revamp TV5’s programming and facilities in order to better compete with ABS-CBN and GMA. Unfortunately, MVP’s ambitious moves did not result in immediate success, and TV5 soon encountered turbulence.

TV5 first tried to form its own stable of artists (mostly veterans like Sharon Cuneta and Willie Revillame), and produced some programs that could have given ABS-CBN and GMA a run for their money. It failed, and not even the intervention of Vic del Rosario and VIVA Entertainment made a difference.

The Kapatid network then acquired the broadcast rights to some big-name sporting events (e.g. PBA, Olympics, FIBA World Cup) and even managed to strike a blocktime deal with IBC-13 (named AKTV) to aid in his quest. However, AKTV was a financial failure, and Sports5 had no choice but to air them on TV5 and AksyonTV, which proved to be detrimental to both networks.

Next in TV5’s agenda was the improvement of its news division, thus the establishment of AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM. Despite the numerous awards given to them, News5 was criticized for its overemphasis on tabloid-style news reporting, as well as mismanagement from within.

Finally, TV5 invested in the satellite subscription service Cignal, and by 2015, it reached its target of 1 million subscribers. Still, its channel lineup remains paltry in comparison to its older cable competitor SkyCable.

Overall, the attempt to turn TV5 into a broadcast giant in the mold of ABS-CBN and GMA turned out to be a failure. Today, their programming as a whole is back to what the Cojuangco-era ABC 5 used to air, with a lot of TV shopping blocks, imported programming and movies, and in the case of Radyo5 92.3 News FM, too many vacant slots.

Now that TV5 is back to where they started, what will be the next move for MVP? Having wasted a lot of money making some ambitious yet unsuccessful ventures, it’s about time for his network to tear down and start over, or else the inevitability of bankruptcy or sale will soon hang over his head.

The next move starts now, MVP. Do the right thing and save TV5 from collapse.

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Remembering My MVP on TV5

The short-lived reality series ‘My MVP’ aired on TV5 from August to November 2008. (Photo credit: Glen Sibonga)

There was a time when TV5’s ‘MVP’ doesn’t stand for businessman Manny V. Pangilinan.

Upon losing the PBA broadcast rights to Solar Sports in 2008, they immediately conceived a show that would appease basketball fans to stay tuned to the network. And in August of that year, the ‘Ka-Shake’ network (they were not called the Kapatid network until Pangilinan’s purchase two years later) premiered the reality show ‘My MVP’.

Hosted by comedian Bayani Agbayani and former PBA player Jason Webb, ‘My MVP’ (MVP stands for Most Valuable Pinoy) featured amateur basketball players who were aspiring to make it to the professional ranks. PBA champion coach Norman Black supervised the ‘My MVP’ training camp.

From the nearly 3000 aspirants who auditioned, only twelve remained for the finale. They were: Luis Palaganas, Robby David, Alwin Elinon, Adrian Pellejera, Raymond Montaniel, Reneboy Banzali, Galen Cacha, Julio Magbanua, Jerry Orera, James Patrick Abugan, Leemore Boliver, and Gemar Isorena.

The ‘Final 12’, as they were known, comprised the My MVP team coached by Norman Black. They faced the PBA Legends of coach Ed Cordero in the series finale held at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City in November 2008.

The close battle saw the My MVP team narrowly beat the PBA Legends 109-101. Luis Palaganas was named the ‘My MVP’ winner while he joined Robby David, Alwin Elinon, Julio Magbanua and Leemore Boliver in the Mythical Five.

Unfortunately for ‘My MVP’, neither of the final 12 aspirants made it to the pro ranks. Winner Luis Palaganas did apply for the 2009 PBA Rookie Draft, but went undrafted and never played professionally.

There was no second season either, as TV5 elected to concentrate more on entertainment than sports programming for the remainder of the Tonyboy Cojuangco era. Bayani Agbayani returned to acting, Jason Webb resumed his role as a commentator for the PBA, while Norman Black devoted his energies to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

It would have been interesting for TV5 under Manny V. Pangilinan to revive ‘My MVP’, considering that the network has renewed their ties to the PBA and have been fully devoted to the national team’s cause. But that is just a dream, at least for now.

In the end, ‘My MVP’ will be remembered for its unfulfilled promises. It was not a bad attempt, but it still didn’t deliver on its intended mission: to find the next great basketball star.

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‘ABClassics’ is a Hoax: A Message to Mr. Carlo Abellanosa

The old ABC-5 logo during the mid-to-late 90s. (Logo courtesy of ABC Development Corporation via Wikia Logos)

Disclaimer: This article is written in response to Mr. Carlo Abellanosa’s absurd and preposterous comments regarding TV5’s current state of programming. The views and opinions of this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of TV5, Manny V. Pangilinan, or the MVP Group of companies.

Since 2010, TV5 has been the property of media and telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan. The station has had some glimpses of success, but they still cannot escape their standing as the ‘No. 3 network’.

In fact, the station’s standing has remained the same since the MVP takeover, mainly due to its frequent airings of reruns and Tagalized foreign films, constant programming and timeslot changes, and big-budget signings that failed to meet expectations.

With another programming revamp set to take place in early 2015, it is clear that even with the deep pockets of the MVP Group, TV5 continues to be a work in progress. And for some, the feeling of desperation and impatience is increasingly obvious.

Just ask Mr. Carlo Abellanosa.

Carlo, a.k.a. Eririn on the From the Tube comment boards, recently made a suggestion that did not sit well with myself, fellow blogger Timow Paragas, and other readers of this blog. He suggested that classic ABC-5 programs would be re-aired on TV5 under the name ‘ABClassics’, even going as far as saying that the said block would have its own channel in the near future.

Let us clarify Carlo’s claims. First of all, ‘ABClassics’ DOES NOT EXIST. Contrary to what Carlo said in one of his posts, TV5 DID NOT make any statement, let alone announce anything with regards to ‘ABClassics’.

Second, it will be very ridiculous and unreasonable for MVP and his group if they were to bring back old ABC-5 programs from the Cojuangco years. TV5 has definitely moved on, and re-airing old programming from ABC-5 doesn’t make any sense.

And finally, it is possible that the archives from the Cojuangco regime are no longer within TV5’s grasp. This should explain why ‘Wow Mali’, a holdover from the ABC-5 era, airs only archival footage from as far back as 2011 under the ‘Wow Muli’ segment.

To the loyal readers and followers of From the Tube, this should bring a valuable lesson to all of you. If possible, write your comments that are informative, factual and logical. Never comment something that is contradicting, unrelated and deceiving.

And to Mr. Carlo Abellanosa, if you don’t have anything to say that is factual and logical, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BLOG!!! Let this be a humbling experience to a hoaxer like you.

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