GMA Network CEO and Chairman Felipe L. Gozon firmly believes that news programs and public affairs shows are solid enough to outlast any television fads that are coming out every now and then.
He cited the continuing success of GMA-7's evening news program over a rival network's primetime variety-game show.
"24 Oras is winning over Willing Willie," Atty. Gozon candidly said. "We feel that there are people who prefer to watch the news—'yong talagang pinaniniwalaan at may credibility."
This theory apparently is more than enough to convince the network heads to come up with a station that is solely dedicated to offering informative news programs around the clock to the viewing public.
Thus, Q Channel 11—a television station owned by GMA Network, Inc.—will be known starting on February 28 as GMA News TV.
"We feel that we are very strong in news and public affairs. Nagkataong hindi kumikita 'tong QTV. So this is our effort to convert QTV into something that we think will be a winner and in order to create a new international channel. Tingin namin 'yong mga Filipinos abroad are hungry for more news from the Philippines," Atty. Gozon explained.
A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME. A grand trade launch was held last night, February 7, at the Events Hall of the A. Venue in Makati City to formally announce the unveiling of the network.
The event was well-attended by advertisers, invited reporters, network executives, and individuals representing the news and public affairs team.
A trade launch presents a network's upcoming programs and encourages advertisers and companies to place ads in the lineup of shows.
GMA News TV is bannered by the most respected names in the field of broadcast journalism: Jessica Soho, Mel Tiangco, Arnold Clavio, Vicky Morales, and Howie Severino.
Early morning viewers can catch the latest news in Dobol B Sa News TV, the live simulcast of Mike Enriquez's radio program over DZBB.
Kara David and Howie Severino topbill the morning newscast, News to Go.
Jessica Soho mentors young reporters about the intricacies of the job via Brigada—a news magazine program in the '90s that was hosted by the late broadcaster and columnist Louie Beltran.
Jessica will also anchor the station's flagship news program, State of the Nation with Jessica Soho.
Arnold Clavio delivers the news happening around the country via Balita Pilipinas.
Mel Tiangco visits the homes of prominent and well-known personalities and chats them up in the public affairs program, Powerhouse.
Bolstering the network's claim of credible news reporting is Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) Executive Director Malou Mangahas, who will host Investigative Documentaries.
Mangahas will be joined by 2003 Ramon Magsaysay awardee for journalism, Sheila Coronel, Newsbreak's Marites Vitug, GMA News Research Head Florian Balmes, GMA News Operations Head Grace dela Peña, and PCIJ's Ed Lingao.
Economist Winnie Monsod, on the other hand, will give her opinions and thoughts on current issues in Bawal Ang Pasaway Kay Mareng Winnie!
NEWS AND LIFESTYLE SHOWS. GMA News TV dares to offer straight news reporting programs, documentaries, and lifestyle shows that will cater to a diverse group of viewers.
The network's objective is to impart important information and share knowledge to its audience regardless of age and social status, according to Atty. Gozon.
Some of the lifestyle shows in the network's roster are YouTube sensation Ramon Bautista's May Tamang Balita; Jun Veneracion, RJ Ledesma, and Jace Flores's Best Men; model turned actress Solenn Heussaff's Fashbook; Drew Arellano's Weekend Getaway; and I Juander hosted by Cesar Apolinario and Susan Enriquez.
Chino Trinidad and Patricia Hizon will give viewers a rundown of the latest happenings in the world of sports through Game!
Actress Rhian Ramos and showbiz reporter Nelson Canlas discuss the issues surrounding tinseltown in Spotlight: The Showbiz Newscast.
Tonipet Gaba examines pop culture in the 30-minute weekly review show, Pop Talk.
Interesting documentaries will be featured in the shows Front Row and Reel Time.
UTILIZING EXISTING RESOURCES. Top management realize that GMA News TV will not make a profit right away.
Atty. Gozon said they will be able to keep expenses at a minimal by using existing infrastructure and resources at Q Channel 11.
"Programming lang ang pinalitan, tsaka dinagdagan namin 'yong mga tao sa news. Yun lang naman, e. Nandiyan na 'yong mga equipment, mga camera. We did not have to build new studios," said Atty. Gozon.
"Nagdagdag ng mga camera, mga kung anu-ano. Siyempre 'yong set binago. E, hindi 'yon 'yong mga major expense sa television.
"We did not have to buy new transmitters, mga ganun. Hindi kami nagpatayo ng bagong building," chuckled Atty. Gozon, who was obviously referring to a rival station's recent move to construct a new office and studio establishment in Mandaluyong City.
"Parang nandiyan na, binihisan mo lang nang konti, ng ibang bihis. Parang ako, dati naka-barong, e, sabi nila mag-Amerikana. Kahit hirap na hirap ako, naka-Amerikana ako," he said in jest.
On a more serious note, Atty. Gozon is excited and optimistic that GMA News TV will perform well based entirely on the "quality" of the programs they will be giving to the public.
GMA Network's Senior Vice-President for News and Public Affairs Marissa Flores, on the other hand, expressed her excitement now that news and public affairs programs will have more air time.
"We hope to make a difference through quality programs and fair, balanced, responsible reporting—which have long been the trademark of GMA News and Public Affairs," said Flores in a statement.