country, humor, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, talk show, television

Igan is No Talk Show Host


In contrast to Arnold Clavio’s jovial look on this TV billboard for ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’, some episodes continue to display his more serious news reporting side in the midst of national issues.

Since Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged much of Visayas last week, the GMA News TV program ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio‘ went serious in discussing the typhoon. The TWAC band was not present, and neither were the assigned special guests. The last two TWAC episodes went with a news reporting approach, featuring interviews with various experts.  Turns out I was not a fan of the more serious version of TWAC.

Arnold Clavio, the program’s host, is better suited as a news anchor than a talk show host. The reason why News TV decided to assign Clavio to a talk show was to showcase his fun side. But as it turns out, his heart remains news reporting, and in some episodes of TWAC, he decided to eschew the program’s talk show approach for serious news reporting, especially during nationwide disasters and conflicts.

In my opinion, GMA made the wrong decision. TWAC may be on the air for three years now, but it’s hard to fathom why Clavio continues to move back to his news anchor persona when his self-titled program was designed mainly as a late night talk show a la ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno‘. ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’ is a joke, and it deserves to be axed.

If GMA were to produce its own late night talk show, why not bring back Jojo Alejar and his ‘Medyo Late Night’ band? Ever since Jojo A. and his late night talk show took a bow on TV5 last September, the television industry is still searching for a new weeknight talk show featuring monologues and special guests. Even though TV5’s ‘What’s Up, Doods?’ with Edu Manzano qualifies as such, it only airs once a week. And television programs of late portray a more serious tone than in previous years. So the need for such a talk show becomes even more pronounced.

In the meantime, ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’ will remain on the air, because ‘Igan’ is such a popular figure of late in the world of broadcast journalism. Popular with the fact that he grilled Janet Lim-Napoles’ lawyer Alfredo Villamor on ‘Unang Hirit’, which of course was criticized on social media and even earned him an MTRCB warning. But for some reason TWAC has become an exhibition for Clavio’s two personas: one as a jovial talk show host, and the other as a no-nonsense news anchor. And the clash of two worlds is not good for television.

Philippines, television

Let the Ratings War Begin

ABS-CBN and GMA 7 claimed network supremacy in the past five years based on ratings from Kantar Media and AGB Nielsen, respectively. (Photo credit:

Since ABS-CBN accused AGB Nielsen of tampering with its ratings in 2007, they have been subscribing to Kantar Media as its main ratings provider. And since they started their subscription to Kantar, the network has claimed to achieve higher ratings than that of competitor GMA 7 based on Kantar Media’s data. On the contrary, GMA 7 continued to claim ratings leadership in most areas using data from AGB Nielsen. With both media giants claiming their right to be the number one television station in the Philippines based on their respective data from their ratings providers, does it make sense to make claims such as this?

GMA’s No. 1 ‘supremacy’ comes from their afternoon programming, whose block included the 34-year old variety program Eat! Bulaga, its Afternoon Prime series of teleseryes, showbiz talk shows such as Startalk, and public service programs such as Wish Ko Lang. Prior to ABS-CBN’s move to Kantar, its evening programs have been traditionally high-rated. But since the move, ABS-CBN claimed to dominate nightly programming, which included TV Patrol, its Primetime Bida series of teleseryes, Maalala Mo Kaya on Saturdays, and Ganda Gabi Vice on Sundays. And when ‘Be Careful With My Heart’ started airing on late mornings in mid-2012, its cheerful and infectious storyline started taking over a majority of TV sets by the end of the year. As for a new giant in TV5, they are still tinkering with their programming lineup in an attempt to challenge ABS-CBN and GMA 7.

For over 50 years, both networks have pushed each other to the limits in an effort to produce high-quality programming to all walks of life. But claiming to be the number one network in the country is not the answer. Viewers have their own choice of programs to watch, so it is up to them to watch any program they like, as long as they enjoy it.