ANC welcomes new competitionBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“Journalism is a noble calling. We don’t have the monopoly of the desire to provide this kind of service to our widening audience,” said Regina “Ging” Reyes, managing director of the ABS-CBN News Channel or ANC.
Reyes was reacting to a question from the Philippine Daily Inquirer on the competition posed by another all-news channel, Solar News, which started broadcasting in January.
Solar News, which airs on cable channel Talk TV, debuted with the news
coverage of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, which was anchored by former ANC veterans Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan.
Two other channels with the same format, TV5’s Aksyon TV and GMA 7’s GMA News TV, were launched last year.
Reyes said she welcomed the growth of news channels locally. “We can’t do anything if other people decide to put up these channels. The people running Solar News are my former colleagues and friends. I’m sure they will do a good job. After all, they are ABS-CBN veterans.”
Magsaysay and Pal Marquez are now senior vice president and vice president, respectively, of Solar’s news and current affairs group.
“I’ve worked with them very well,” recalled Reyes, who is also head of ABS-CBN’s news and current affairs division. “Jing was a reporter when I was still a production assistant. Pal was the desk editor when I was a writer and associate producer of the ‘World Tonight.’”
She added: “Pia and I had a very good talk about why she wanted to join them. I respect her decision. I sincerely wish them luck. We saw each other at the Senate at the start of the impeachment trial and shared some good-natured ribbing.”
Reyes said there was an effort to “strengthen” ANC to reach a wider audience. “While we know that we are the platform of choice of decision-makers, educators and businessmen, we want to widen that a little bit more. Now you see that there is a whole afternoon with a more lively and viewer-centered content. I am very confident that ANC will further expand its reach and its subscriber base.”
Last June 11, ANC began airing “News Now” at 2 p.m. with anchor Ron Cruz presenting major national, business and foreign news.
Coco Alcuaz takes over the show at 3 p.m. to give updates on the Asian markets and conduct live interviews from the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Also delivering updates from the PSE trading floor is Warren de Guzman.
Karmina Constantino reports on the biggest national and regional stories in the country.
Boyet Sison delivers weather forecasts while Lexi Schulze gives the latest buzz and trends from the social media realm.
ANC also launched “@ANCALERTS,” or what it calls the “first-of-its-kind social media news program,” with Schulze and TJ Manotoc as hosts. It airs weekdays at 4:30 p.m.
Reyes said she hoped ANC to likewise compete globally. “We want to extend its coverage and reach beyond the Philippines. Our kababayans are in every corner of the world anyway. We’re airing through TFC (The Filipino Channel) all over the world. The next step is to go beyond TFC, to make it available to anybody who wants to consume news about Filipinos everywhere in the world.”
Reyes observed that social networking sites have become tools to drive audiences to watch television.
“Twitter drives viewership. We don’t know where this is heading, but we want to be in step with the times—ahead of it even—so that we’re ready for any change that will happen or that will affect the many platforms that we’re in,” the network exec said. “We’re always on our toes. We want to keep our content excellent, make sure our audience stays with us because we have something different to offer them.”
Meanwhile, ANC has also beefed up its prime-time programming with shows like “Inside Business,” where anchor Coco Alcuaz presents insightful business news discussions every Wednesday at 7 p.m., and “Future Perfect,” a 30-minute science and technology show with Tony Velasquez that also airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Phoemela Baranda hosts “Cityscape,” which features the most popular food establishments, fashion trends, weekend getaways and hottest events in and around the metropolis. It airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m.
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