A woman at the top of ABS-CBN Corporation, as president from 2008 as well as CEO from 2012 until her retirement in 2016, Charo Santos-Concio held in her thumb the fate of aspiring artists in her turf, up or down.
She explained her position in Toni Talks on March 1, 2021, “There are so many elements that leadership takes into consideration when we make decisions.
“There are metrics that we have to follow. So there’s nothing personal. From my end, I think I push people to do their best.
"I mean I would always talk to them about the value of excellence."
Urged for elaboration by the vlog host Toni Gonzaga, Charo laid out her parameters for wringing out the best from the artists in the Kapamilya stable.
She said, “’You want to stand out in the crowd? Be unique, be excellent, be different. What are you offering your audience? Why will I love you? How do you engage me? What kind of relationship are you building up with me?’
“’We open the doors [but] at the end of the day, what do you bring to the table? What kind of work do you bring to the table?’”
“Do you take your strengths for granted? You’ll say, ‘I’m good.’
“[I’ll answer], ‘Ah no, you keep working and working doubly hard to make sure that you’re the excellent person in that one performance you’re going to show me now.'”
CHARO'S PET PEEVE IN LIVE SHOWS
Toni, herself a long-time talent of ABS-CBN, recalled the number one reminder they received from Charo every time they would perform in the variety show ASAP.
She told her audience, “Naku, ayaw ni Ma’am Charo iyan, magli-lip sync na lang sa ASAP, hindi pa sasabay!
“Hindi ko makakalimutan iyan. ‘Uy, ‘pag nagli-lip sync kayo sa ASAP, sabayan niyo iyong boses niyo dahil iyon na lang ang gagawin niyo.’
“Si Ma’am Charo, nagagalit nang hindi kayo sumasabay sa lip sync.”
Charo then remembered some behind-the-scene scenarios she encountered during a live show.
She related, “At saka dati, sa opisina namin, sa props area pa lang. May live show, note. Nagse-send ako ng note during the live show. May mga ganun ako.
“’Did this talent rehearse?’ 'Ah, Ma’am, sorry kasi medyo nagkaproblema, dumating two hours before the show.’
“’Hmmm… then you should have asked her not to join the production number.’”
Toni reacted, “Kapag nakarinig ka na ng ganyan, patay ka na.”
It also turned out that Charo watched every live show, and her instant feedbacks were famously feared.
The Kapamilya executive recounted, “Kapag may live show, naka-text na ako
“Hanggang kahit Araneta Coliseum, nagku-concert, may feedback na agad. Opening pa lang.”
Toni chimed in, “Nararamdaman po namin iyon, Ma’am Charo, kasi iyong mga business unit head po, ‘Nanunuod si Ma’am Charo. So alam na namin.
“Nine-name drop na po kayo para manigas na po kaming lahat, para before live show, ‘Ah, nanunuod daw si Ma’am Charo.’”
Charo good-humoredly corrected, “Palagay ko, iyong mga iba, hindi na sa aking feedback, nine-name drop na lang ako.”
Summing up her standard for excellence, she said, “You owe the audience the best performance.
“You need this mindset... ‘This could be the last performance of my life.’ So you always have to give your best.”
Currently, Charo serves as chief content officer of the network and president of ABS-CBN University.