Memo to the Dying 08:
To: Kapatid Network
Estimated Death: When MVP acquires GMA
Suggested Final Act: Revamp Your News Programming and Become the Good News TV
Let us be honest, despite high-profile talent acquisition – vintage Nora Aunor, larger-than-life Sharon Cuneta, legendary Dolphy, and Ultimate Survivor Willy Revillame – you are still where you started pre-MVP: an outsider. You are the street dog waiting outside the kitchen door for leftovers of the audience shared by the two giants dining inside the restaurant.
Ah, but MVP is a wise and shrewd business, he knows this was coming. TV5 is intended to be a take-off point for a larger acquisition: GMA. That will happen anytime now.
Now, what should be your final act?
Niching should be your strategy, but where? Not in primetime teleserye. The cast you can afford to pirate, but the people behind the success of each teleserye – producers, directors, scriptwriters, casting directors – have forged their loyalty to The Charo Santos like the rings of Sauron. No one can escape the EYE of Charon.
Not in sports, because, well, there is no such thing in the Philippines. Not in game shows, not in pageants, not in musicals, and clearly not in reality shows. Those seats are taken.
But the news? Now, that is up for grabs. Put your money there. These are my suggestions:
a. Be radically different and remove Luchie Cruz Valdez as head (transfer her to public service). Women at the top of news and current affairs have slowly revealed their weakness: too accommodating. Why are Korina Sanchez, Ted Failon and Noli de Castro anchoring the primetime news? Ging Reyes is too afraid to disturb status quo. Despite the protestations of PNoy, ABS-CBN is pro-government. It has to protect its business interest here. Peabody Award notwithstanding, Jessica Soho has done nothing edgy and radical for GMA News. Aside from i-Witness, her innovations are more technology than content. Jessica is very intelligent, but is a safe player. Find a foreigner who can direct your news department – make it more masculine and more global. Heck, get Anderson Cooper, am sure you can afford him. (Yes, he is masculine)
b. Be edgy. Tempting as it is, doing a Fox News and declare everything is bad in the country is self-defeating. It will bring in ratings but will be detrimental to the businesses of your boss. Go the other way and become good news TV. No matter how bad the news is, there is something positive about it. During flooding, do not focus on people panicking and children dying – give airtime to communities who did pre-evacuation properly and are now comfortable in well-assigned evacuation centers. If three people met an accident in EDSA, emphasize that the other 4 million drove safely and arrived in their destinations intact. Yes, you can do that. End each report with this: BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS…..
c. Expand your news airtime. There is so much good things to know about.
Trust me on this. Filipinos are tired of hearing bad news. We can get that from our mothers.