CNN Philippines signing off — reports

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Television network CNN Philippines, a local franchise of US-based news channel Cable News Network, is reportedly signing off soon.

ALC Group of Companies chairman and chief executive officer D. Edgard Cabangon confirmed this yesterday to Manila Standard. Nine Media Corp., which operates CNN Philippines, is part of the ALC Group.

“That was planned last year due to losses… We will concentrate more on our own free TV – Aliw TV,” Cabangon was quoted as saying in the report.

In a separate report by GMA News, Cabangon was quoted as saying that they “delayed the closure/termination of the franchise (deal with) CNN International because of our love for our employees.”

The STAR reached out to Cabangon for clarification but did not receive a response.

Nine Media Corp. is expected to issue a statement on the matter on Monday after a general assembly with employees.

The impending shutdown of CNN Philippines was first reported last Thursday night by independent news website Media Newser Philippines, which reports on developments in the broadcast industry in the Philippines.

Citing unnamed sources, Media Newser said Nine Media Corp. and CNN have agreed to discontinue the licensing agreement.

First launched in 2015, CNN Philippines was initially under a five-year licensing deal and was extended until the end of 2024.

Last December, CNN Philippines entered an agreement with TV5 to air Philippine Basketball Association games and noontime show “E.A.T.” (now “Eat Bulaga!”) on weekends.

In a statement, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) noted that the network management has yet to talk to the employees. “As is common in these situations, those who produce the content and whose lives stand to be most affected by corporate decisions seem to be the last to know about them,” the NUJP said.

“Reports of the potential shutdown mention severance packages for affected personnel, and we hope that this will be the case if any layoffs are announced,” it added.

The apparent lack of communication, the group said, “highlights the need for workplace organizing to, at minimum, ensure that employees are kept abreast of corporate developments that will affect them.” “More than passion and dedication to the profession, media workers need clear lines of communication with newsroom leaders as well as a say in matters that affect their careers and their daily lives,” it added.D

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