Teleradyo signing off


Jullie Y. Daza

One more down. June 30 will be sign-off time for Teleradyo, ABS-CBN’s news and public affairs station on SkyCable.

The network lost its congressional franchise in July 2020 after its appeal for renewal was rejected. It’s not cheap to cover an entire archipelago and broadcast the news nationwide. It’s not easy to challenge Congress after the President of the Philippines has thrown the gauntlet.

The impending closure of Teleradyo, according to insiders, has devastated Peter Musñgi, who is ABS’ continuity announcer – aka “the voice of the station” – not only because he will lose his daily on-screen commentary but because Teleradyo was his baby; it was his idea to occupy two media simultaneously to cater to a news-hungry audience. It’s probably safe to say that Peter and Noli de Castro are its most senior and longest-lasting staffers, Noli with his branded TV Patrol and Peter as station manager and mentor.

Days after announcement of Teleradyo’s June 30 extro, ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo L. Katigbak forecast a better year for the network with “an upward trend of our numbers... the light at the end of the tunnel has become sharper and brighter,” advertising revenues “growing side by side with ratings.” In other words, Teleradyo had to go because it was not earning enough from the size of its viewership and income from commercials.

As a cable station, Channel 26 was allowed to continue operating despite its parent’s loss of its franchise. It would appear that a franchise is a requisite for free TV only. With Teleradyo soon to be off the air, two other ABS-owned stations will continue, both broadcasting in English: ANC (Channel 27) for news and business updates, and Metro (Channel 52) for lifestyle features. (What is the lesson here? That English is a safer language on cable, commanding as it does an English-speaking audience?)

The good news is that ABS-CBN has scored a joint venture with Speaker Martin Romualdez’ Prime Media Holdings Inc., for which it will provide content development, production, and financing. The Speaker’s media reach includes two Manila-based dailies and a radio station in Tacloban, Leyte, in all a quite significant reach – Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. Just in time to prep for a significant year like 2028.