ABS-CBN ‘bouncing back’ by focusing on content creation, artist development, says Dyogi | Inquirer Entertainment

ABS-CBN ‘bouncing back’ by focusing on content creation, artist development, says Dyogi

/ 12:10 AM July 23, 2023

Laurenti Dyogi

Laurenti Dyogi

We’re not a network anymore. We’re a media company.”

Thus said ABS-CBN’s head of TV production Laurenti Dyogi as a way to describe the organization, which he claimed to have finally “bounced back,” three years after it lost its bid for franchise renewal, by remodeling itself “as a good content creator.”


“We asked ourselves, ‘Without the franchise, who are we? What are we good at?’ We know that we’re still storytellers, we create content and we build artists. You don’t need a franchise to do these things,” Dyogi told Inquirer Entertainment in a recent virtual chat. “Innovation brings out the best in people. We did a lot of experimental projects, especially digital.”


ABS-CBN currently produces and distributes programs through its partnerships with GMA 7, TV5 and A2Z Channel 11. Dyogi also disclosed ABS-CBN’s plans for artist development under its talent management arm, Star Magic.

“Of course, we knocked on the doors of a lot of people, but there were also those who asked, ‘Can we partner with you?’ In the beginning, we weren’t used to doing partnerships. We were on a steep learning curve. We used to control our own frequency, our own programming. Now, we’re just a provider of content; we’re servicing other companies. That’s where the adjustment was,” he explained.

Donny Pangilinan (left) and Belle Mariano in “He’s Into Her”

Donny Pangilinan (left) and Belle Mariano in “He’s Into Her”

Giving opportunities

“We’re cooking a lot,” he said about Star Magic’s midyear plans, which began with the launch of its limited-edition 2023 Star Magic catalog early this month. “The second half of 2023 is for a lot of individual artist promotions. We’re partnering with some producers to create content and concerts. The aim is to give opportunities for our artists to flourish. We’re also launching new talents.”

What Dyogi considered among the “breakthroughs” during the pandemic were the on-screen partnerships of Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano (DonBelle) and their hit series “He’s Into Her,” as well as the tandem of KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad (KDLex), “something which we never imagined would become this big,” he said. There were also successful musical acts like the all-girl group BINI and its male counterpart, BGYO. “For all of our pains, we also have a good deal of wins,” he pointed out.

Dyogi then said the focus would be on the acoustic all-male group Gitara Boys, composed of Luke Alford, Rob Blackburn, Beaver Magtalas, Drei Sugay, Recio and CJ Navato. “It’s time to discover the other side of our talents. They’re not only good at acting. These guys are also good at playing the guitar,” he pointed out. Dyogi said they would also shine the spotlight on artists like Ralph de Leon, who used to compete as a judoka. “He is a black belter in judo. He has specific and unique skills that we can highlight. These days, you can’t just be someone who is good-looking or can cry on cue,” he explained.He also noted that even KDLex is not your usual love team. “Now they’re known as the singing tandem of Star Magic,” he said.

Dyogi added that for the past two years, Star Magic has been busy facilitating auditions for its talents to join internationally produced projects. “So far, we’ve only been successful with Iñigo (Pascual’s inclusion in the Hollywood series, ‘Monarch’), but we have been helping all of our artists,” he said.


‘Be a lot braver’

“We’ve also had big acting workshops, one with Disney, as well as music workshops. I’m pushing for training so that the craft would be learned and mastered as soon as possible and for them to enjoy exploring other arts—aside from TV, there’s musical theater, concerts [and] other content creations. There’s so much we can do now. We only need to be a lot braver,” Dyogi stressed.

Only in May, a portion of the iconic “Pinoy Big Brother” house was demolished after the company’s lease of the property expired. Dyogi, however, promised that “at least two more seasons” of the reality talent search would be produced using the remaining portion of the property. “It was a painful yet practical decision to let go of that,” he said.

For Dyogi, ABS-CBN’s successful shift to being a content provider “is a result of a painful process.”

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“Survival instinct kicked in since we didn’t have any choice. We would have died if we opted to sit still. As painful as it was, we had to let go of a lot of our people. Luckily, we are now slowly able to bring them back into our workforce,” Dyogi declared. “The incident also tested the bond and teamwork of our people. It’s good that the company’s leaders remained strong. Otherwise, we would have crumbled. When you think of the audience and the people you work with, you can’t complain anymore. You just move forward and hope that one day this will end. Always, my motivation is that, before I retire from this company, I want it already back on its feet,” Dyogi said.

TAGS: ABS-CBN, Celebrities and Showbiz, Laurenti Dyogi

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