Gozon: The show, not the station, makes an artist

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BOB BRIDDON, Avon president for Asia Pacific and the Philippines; Kris Bernal and Felipe L. Gozon, GMA 7 president and CEO, on Wednesday after signing a partnership for a TV series.

“Popularity, talent, attitude.”

These are the top three things that GMA network president and CEO Felipe L. Gozon considers before adding an artist to the Kapuso roster.

While he did not discount the possibility of hiring more talents from other networks, Gozon said, “GMA 7 is developing a lot of in-house talents. We’ve put two people in charge of our Artist Center—Simon Ferrer for endorsements and branding, and David Fabros for development and recruitment.”

RICHARD GUTIERREZ “He didn’t renew his contract.”

Gozon sat down to lunch with Inquirer on Wednesday after formally signing an agreement with Avon Philippines to produce the drama series, “Prinsesa ng Masa,” which stars Kris Bernal. The show premieres Sept. 23.

“I like the story of ‘Prinsesa ng Masa.’ It’s not hard sell,” Gozon said. “Avon came in after we approved the concept. But we’ve worked with the brand for a long time now. It just so happened that the products and the show seemed a perfect fit.”

Excerpts from our chat:

Were you surprised by the success of “My Husband’s Lover”?

I told our production people that what we needed was a show that was different from most. A few years back, we were successful with fantasy-adventure shows.

Actually, “Mundo Mo’y Akin” is faring better than MHL in terms of ratings. But people don’t talk about it so much. This only means maraming Pinoy na MHL (gay). Marami rin sigurong MWL, or My Wife’s Lover. (Laughs)

Seriously, we never thought it would be this successful. We approved it only because it was… different. No, we weren’t worried about how some people would react. From the start we agreed it would depend on the treatment.

We were surprised it was GMA 7 that did it.

Kami talaga ang gagawa n’on because we are risk-takers. We always try new things. MHL became popular because of its story line. Dennis (Trillo) and Tom Rodriguez aren’t real [gays]; that’s why audiences appreciate them. Lumalabas ang galing nila [in acting]. As I always say, it’s the program that makes an artist; not the station.

OGIE ALCASID “I wished him luck.”

What’s your reaction to Ogie Alcasid’s transfer to TV5?

In fairness to Ogie, he spoke with us before leaving. We couldn’t match TV5’s offer—bibigyan pa kasi siya ng [executive position]. I wished him luck.

Because you thought he would need it?

You all know what’s happening there [at TV5]. How long can that go on? No offense; I’m just being frank. They have been incurring really big losses.

Does this mean a merger is out of the question?

What merger? I have not heard of any. Is MVP (Manny Pangilinan, TV5 chair) buying GMA7? You’ll have to ask him. As for me, I am not going to buy TV5.

How about Regine Velasquez?

She just renewed her contract with us. We’ve never had any problem with Regine.

Former GMA 7 executive Wilma Galvante has transferred to TV5 and is active again.

Wilma didn’t transfer; she retired. She joined TV5 a year [after she left GMA 7].

What’s Richard Gutierrez’s status?

He didn’t renew his contract.

Marian Rivera’s contract is also up for renewal.

MARIAN RIVERA “Something is about to happen,” says the boss.

Just wait, something will happen that I’m still not at liberty to say. And no, Marian [and boyfriend Dingdong Dantes] will not get married yet. ’Di pa ako kinukuhang ninong—biro lang.

I tell you, pag mag-e-expire na ang mga contracts ng halos lahat ng talents, may maririnig ka na kinukuha sila ng ibang network—that’s normal.

What’s in store for Raymart Santiago and estranged wife Claudine Barretto over at GMA7?

I don’t know if Raymart has an existing contract with us. We’ve never had any problem with him, either. Our contract with Claudine expired quite a while back and was not renewed.

What can you say about your daughter’s (Annette Gozon-Abrogar) performance as a network executive?

I’m her father so to answer that would be self-serving. With regard to the [Sarah Lahbati] issue, I know she can handle it because she’s a better lawyer than I am. It’s good that she can now practice law at ’di puro GMA 7 ang inaatupag.

How do you make your actors’ working environment more comfortable?

Most of them have vans where they can sleep or rest when they are not needed on the set.

What’s the latest on the network’s digitization project?

At this point, our concern is how to monetize our investment.

What digital TV model does the network plan to use?

We want to follow the European model, which is superior to its Japanese counterpart. The Japanese model offers a maximum of eight channels; the European model, up to 16.

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  • Guest

    “Gozon:The show, not the station, makes an artist.”

    Not really. It’s Annette Gozon’s 20% commission from GMA talents that makes an artist. If the artist does not submit to Annette Gozon’s whims and demands, the starlet wannabe will either be sued or booted out of the network. The modus operandi of Annette Gozon is no different from a foreman skimming off the hard-earned wages of construction crew. It took one girl to stand up and fight for her principles to expose the hypocrisy of Mr. Gozon and his daughter. Out of desperation and to save face, Annette Gozon is filing a case against Sarah Labhati. The case was never really about ‘think before you click.’ It is high time that Mr. Gozon taught her daughter some manners and how to moderate her greed.

    More importantly, to Annette Gozon: Think before you cheat.

    • Scrapper Keeper

      Seryoso ka? Mas may tiwala ka sa bata ni Annabel Rama? Hindi porke’t mayaman automatic agad na masamang tao. Mga pinoy talaga… mahilig sa underdog maski pretending lang.

    • Guest

      Bro, between Ms. Annette and Sarah, I’d go for the former on any given day. She’s sweet, soft-spoken, elegant, mild-mannered, perceptive, quick-witted and has that beautiful chinita look. I’ve always been fantasizing Ms. Annette since the first time we were introduced many years ago. I still can’t get over that one time when we went out together for an evening event and she was wearing a backless evening gown. I couldn’t control myself the whole evening and had to use the men’s room several times. We didn’t last long and she soon moved on to another relationship. But I’ll never forget the intimate moments we had and how she purrs like a sweet little feline and curls up when reaching the apex. Her slender body is peerless when naked. I hope Mr. Abrogar takes good care of her. Because I would if I get another chance.

      • BCon

        What a “gentleman” you are.

  • boybakal

    Gozon: The show, not the station, makes an artist

    I don’t think so.
    You can have the show, you can have an artist but if there is no station to show it, then there’s no show and no artist for us to know.
    Don’t belittel the station….they can do more than the show and artists.

  • Bayang_magiliw

    Yes it’s not the station but the talents….that makes GMA’s executives rich!!! They will do all they can to take advantage of their talents as long as they can to maximize their monetary gain!!! Good move by Eat Bulaga because they have their own production outfit (TAPE) and has full control of their show and at the same time their talents doesn’t need to deal with these greedy GMA executives.

    • gr8_light

      TAPE/Eat Bulaga was evicted by ABS-CBN way back because ABS wanted to
      own Eat Bulaga but TAPE wouldn’t budge to it. They transferred to GMA
      because GMA gave them the freedom they wanted. It is ABS who is the
      greediest of them all.

      • Guest

        Dude, everyone’s guilty of greed. but you are guilty of ignorance. In the 1990s, Eat Bulaga only had two choices. Either 2 or 7. Only 2 or 7 could muster the needed investments for simultaneous broadcast that can reach a wide audience. Originally, EB came from 9. Many years ago when Macoy was still the king of the hill, EB was on 2. RPN9, being a gov’t station, was not investing in equipment and facilities. Tape had to spend extra more to make up for it. Not long after, EB moved to 2. But things went sour between 2 and EB because 2 wanted a bigger cut. After all, 2 was investing on its network technology to enable EB to reach more people. But Tape did not like the idea of sharing more, and 7 was ready to take EB. In the 1990s, 7 was way way behind 2 and was willing to sacrifice revenue for TV ratings and wider viewership. 7 could not charge as much as 2 in terms of TV ad placements. In the end, EB was forced to move to 7. Both 2 and 7 are greedy, except that 2 knows how to treat its talents well. 7 has a habit of shortchanging its talents. The talents of 7 look like poor beggars compared to 2. One thing is for sure though. Only the executives of 7 are getting rich. The talents remain poor and are exploited exhaustively.

      • gr8_light

        ABS-CBN has the most underpaid cast and crew among the local networks. It is the greediest of all the networks, that’s a fact.

  • lufthansa49

    Slow talking Gozon pay your talents based on their market value so they wont transfer. Lahat ng talent ng ABS ang laki ng mga bahay. GMA puro townhouse

  • lufthansa49

    Mayabang din pala ang matabang Gozon na ito

  • joboni96

    ang gma
    artistang gma lang ang ibinabalita
    at mga papogi ng mga goson intsik family

    ang abs2
    artistang abs2 lang ang ibinabalita
    at mga papogi ng mga lopez intsik family

  • gr8_light

    At least Gozon is humble enough to say that it is the show that makes an artist, not the station. The other channel executives would always say it’s their station/network that makes their artists.

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