MANILA, Philippines - A former ambassador is expanding his media empire consisting of a business newspaper and radio broadcast firm with the acquisition of Radio Philippines Network Inc. (RPN-9).
Antonio Cabangon-Chua, former ambassador to Laos, owns Aliw Broadcasting Corp. that runs radio station dwIZ and Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing that prints the newspaper Business Mirror.
Aliw Broadcasting was established in 1991 and currently operates 10 radio stations, including Home Radio in Metro Manila.
A source said Cabangon-Chua has been elected chairman of RPN-9, replacing Wilson Tieng who owns Solar Entertainment Corp. that has a 33 percent stake in the TV network partly owned by the government.
RPN-9 is also partly owned by the Benedicto family who are closely associated with the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos and Far East Managers and Investors Inc.
The source added that talks between the camp of Cabangon-Chua and the Tieng group for the acquisition of the stake of Solar Entertainment in RPN-9 are ongoing.
Solar Entertainment is a leader in the creation, promotion and distribution of entertainment and sports content programming. Its roster of entertainment and sports channels include ETC, 2nd Avenue, Jack TV, Solar Sports and Basketball TV.
Both Cabangon-Chua and Tieng refused to comment on the reported buyout, saying both groups were bound by a confidentiality agreement.
A post in the website of Solar News announced that Solar News Channel would officially change its name to 9TV starting Aug. 23, marking the beginning of the channel’s thrust to reach a wider audience and strengthen the presence on free TV RPN-9.
Similarly, the Solar News organization will be known as 9News.
The company said in a statement that 9TV would continue to focus its programming on providing news and information but it would also beef up its weekend programming to cater to more viewers.
“The network will retain its objectives and values. 9TV will continue making its mark in developing an informed and inspired public, while also broadening its appeal to the free TV audience,” the company said in a statement.
It added that 9News would “continue to be the credible and consistent source of news and information, offering ‘News You Can Use’ and back-to-basics journalism.”
Starting Aug. 23, the Solar News website would also change its address from its current www.solarnews.ph to www.9news.ph while its Twitter account would become @9newsph and Facebook account will be www.facebook.com/9newsph.