CNN PH’s Rico Hizon scores double at 26th Asian TV Awards

Published January 8, 2022, 7:21 PM

by Manila Bulletin Entertainment

Rico Hizon, Best News Anchor

CNN Philippines senior news anchor and director for content development Rico Hizon became the first-ever Filipino news anchor to win double victories in the same year at the Asian Television Awards.

Rico bagged the Best News Anchor honors at the 26th Asian Television Awards, with “The Final Word,” recognized as Best News Program.

“I’m truly blessed and honored to be the first Filipino news anchor to achieve this prestigious honor,” Rico asserts. “I would like to share this recognition with all my fellow broadcast journalists.”

In the Best News Anchor category, Rico bested nominees from Taiwan, China, India and Thailand. Meanwhile, in the Best News Program category, Rico’s “The Final Word” won over prestigious news programs from Thailand, India, China and Taiwan.

“There are so many great broadcast journalists in Asia and these are challenging times for all of us, as we continue to face an unseen enemy in this pandemic,” Rico maintains. “To win both these prestigious citations at the 26th Asian TV Awards is a testament to the hard work and passion of the journalists at CNN Philippines.”

Best News Programme

After more than a year of being with CNN Philippines, Rico continues to reap honors for the programs that he anchors. The double victory was a major achievement not only for Rico and his show, the flagship news program of the network, but also for CNN Philippines, which clinched its first-ever Asian TV Awards.

“We go above and beyond the call of duty to help us achieve our goal every weeknight,” Rico says. “The recognition inspires us to do better and do more: to inform and educate by providing the facts and helping our viewers form a well-informed opinion and decision.”

At a time of disinformation during this pandemic and an upcoming national election, the job of Rico and his team becomes even more paramount. He readily acknowledges his team, who works tirelessly to deliver the news and important information for “The Final Word” nightly.

“We wouldn’t have made it without each other,” admits Rico. “The men and women of ‘The Final Word’ work seamlessly as a team. We are a happy bunch. We’re always on the same page, day in and day out.”

Best News Program

Rico believes he and his team achieved their recent feats since they follow a formula which are the key elements to deliver “The Final Word” nightly. “We do three things: ready, aim and fire,” Rico points out. “We kick off with hard news – the top local headlines and an interview with a newsmaker to dive deep into the story.

“Then we give our kababayans a global perspective of what’s happening beyond our shores, with live reports from CNN International and how this is relevant to Filipinos here and around the world.”

The Asian TV Awards recognition solidifies the reputation of CNN Philippines as a “trustworthy news program and a network that delivers balanced, fair and accurate news.” They are truly proud to be Asia’s best.

“Our job is challenging, but we have all stepped up to the plate,” Rico says. “This Asian achievement has made us all proud. Rest assured, we will always delivers news you can use, news you can trust on ‘The Final Word’.”

Best News Presenter or Anchor

Rico describes his team, led by new EP (executive producer) Jam Catapusan, as well as the writers and editors of the program, as a solid group that “breathes, eats and drinks news.” He also acknowledges the work started by former executive producer Paige Javier.

“We know what we want to achieve every weeknight,” Rico asserts. “As a team, we all enjoy what we do, from planning and booking the guests, writing the stories and piecing everything together until we deliver the ‘final word.’ We work hard and have fun.”

In “The Final Word,” that runs nightly for 45 minutes, Rico and his team consistently aim to give viewers an overall view of what’s happening in the country and around the world

“We give our viewers a rundown of the most important business and financial news, with updates from the stock market,” Rico explains. “Finally, our nightcap is a story that inspires or entertains.

“We feature Filipinos making a difference – the trailblazers, changemakers and up-and-coming innovators and leaders. In the end, we give viewers a sense of hope, that there is still a light at the end of the tunnel despite the challenges we face.

In October 2021, “The Final Word” won the 2020 Best News Program in the Philippines at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore. At the UP Gandingan Awards 2021, Rico took home three honors – Best News Program for “The Final Word,” Best TV Program Host for the weekly news program, “The Exchange” and Most Development-Oriented News Story for “The Final Word.”