Gabby Lopez resigns from ABS-CBN
Lopez
STAR/File
Gabby Lopez resigns from ABS-CBN
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - September 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN Corp. chairman emeritus and director Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III has resigned from his post in the company as well as in other Lopez-owned firms due to personal reasons, the media giant announced yesterday.

ABS-CBN said Lopez tendered his resignation as director of ABS-CBN Holdings Corp., Sky Vision Corp., Sky Cable Corp., First Philippine Holdings Corp., First Gen Corp. and Rockwell Land Corp., effective immediately.

The board of directors of the company “accepted with regret” the resignation of Lopez during its organizational meeting yesterday.

According to ABS-CBN, Lopez expressed his appreciation for the trust of the stockholders as well as to his co-directors and senior management for the privilege of having served with them over the years.

“We thank him for his dedication and leadership in expanding and transforming ABS-CBN beyond television through the years. Just like his father, Eugenio ‘Kapitan Geny’ Lopez Jr., Gabby is a visionary and a compassionate leader driven by his love for the Philippines and the Filipino people. He would always tell the men and women of ABS-CBN that being a part of the network is not a job, but a calling,” ABS-CBN said.

“We respect his decision, offer him our full support, and express our sincerest gratitude for the tradition of innovation, nationalism, and public service that he cultivated in the minds and hearts of all Kapamilyas, past and present,” it said.

Lopez was elected as chairman emeritus of ABS-CBN in 2018, after he retired from being the company’s chairman since 1997. He is the second to hold the title of chairman emeritus after his late father.

His citizenship was among the issues raised against ABS-CBN during its franchise hearing this year.

ABS-CBN said Lopez is a Filipino citizen and did not need to acquire Filipino citizenship because “he never lost it nor renounced it.”

The House committee on legislative franchises denied the network’s bid for a new franchise on July 10.

Replacing Lopez as director of ABS-CBN is Mario Luza Bautista.

The 66-year-old Bautista has served as general counsel of the company and member of its board of advisors since 2011.

More successful

As this developed, ABS-CBN Corp. expects to emerge as a more successful company from the current crisis it is undergoing, which included the retrenchment of nearly 5,000 employees, due to the denial of its broadcast franchise.

ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak said during the company’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting yesterday that the firm has already retrenched nearly 5,000 of its more than 11,000 employees.

Katigbak said many of the remaining employees volunteered to take pay cuts, to help the company manage its cash flow.

“Thank you to those who are staying behind, for believing in our future, and for enduring this sacrifice in order to continue serving the public,” he said.

Aside from cutting its workforce to ensure the continuity of operations in response to its current situation, ABS-CBN also reduced the number of programs it produces to save on costs, and instead focus on those that have the largest audiences.

“ABS-CBN is not just a broadcast company. Our mission has always been to serve the public by bringing them entertainment and news that matters. While broadcast television has allowed us to serve the most number of Filipinos, and while both the business and the audiences we serve have felt the pain of its shutdown, TV is not our only platform,” Katigbak said.

“Now, more than ever, we can focus on our core capabilities – creating programs that entertain, inspire and give joy to Filipino families and delivering news that informs, educates, and helps our kababayans, especially in their time of need,” he said.

Katigbak said ABS-CBN at present continues to air its shows through its many cable TV and satellite partners, through the internet over its own websites and partner platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, and all over the world in partnership with global media companies.

He said ABS-CBN would continue to face difficult times this year.

He expressed gratitude to the company’s shareholders for “standing by us, as we go through this most challenging time.”

“In many, if not all of our teleseryes, the protagonist goes through unendurable suffering, yet always emerges a better, stronger, and more successful person. While our teleseryes are fiction, they mirror the realities of life. It is with confidence that we commit to you, our dear shareholders, that we will come out of this crisis a better, stronger, and more successful company,” Katigbak said.

“It will be a difficult journey until that time, but our history has shown that ABS-CBN’s burning passion for service to the Filipino cannot be extinguished. We hope you share this passion with us and count on your continued presence on the road to rebuilding our beloved company,” he said.

ABS-CBN incurred a P3.93 billion net loss in the first half, a reversal from P1.47 billion net income recorded in the same period last year.

It went off the air on May 5 in compliance with a cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission following the expiration of the network’s franchise.

On July 10, the House committee on legislative franchises denied the network’s bid for a new franchise.

The NTC officially recalled all assigned frequencies/channels of ABS-CBN in an order dated Sept. 9.

The frequencies include five AM radio stations, 18 FM radio stations, 42 TV stations, and 10 DTTB stations across the country.

Extended

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday passed on third and final reading a bill that seeks to extend for another 25 years the franchise of a radio and TV broadcasting station within the University of the Philippines System.

Under House Bill 7616, the country’s state-owned premier university is required to allot a minimum of 15 percent of its daily total airtime of each broadcasting network to child-friendly shows within its regular programming.

Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said dzUP (AM radio station), inaugurated in 1958, has continued to serve as a platform for press freedom and a resource and training ground for students, faculty and practitioners on the media industry.

UP is prohibited from using its stations for the broadcasting of obscene and indecent language, speech, act or scene for the dissemination of deliberately false information or willful misrepresentation or to incite, encourage or assist in subversive or treasonable acts.

The President was given the right to temporarily take over and operate the stations or facilities of UP in the interest of public safety, security and public welfare or to authorize the temporary use and operation thereof by any agency of the government in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster or disturbance of peace and order.

UP is also prohibited from leasing, transferring, selling nor assigning the franchise. – Delon Porcalla

GABBY LOPEZ
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