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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 24, 2013

The Kapuso Network Launches Gma Northern Mindanao As Their Newest Originating Station

WE JOINED GMA NETWORK corporate communications bosses Angie Javier and Jojo Aquio in launching their newest originating station, GMA Northern Mindanao, at Cagayan de Oro last Wednesday. They’re renting the entire second floor of Centro Mariano Bldg. near the Lim Ket Kai Center. The new offices were blessed and a program hosted by Bela Padilla followed, with Mark Herras and Frencheska Farr as special Kapuso guests from Manila.

“We already have our own lot where a new building will be constructed but that’ll take time to complete and we already need to prepare for our coverage of the coming May elections, so we had to get this place muna,”says GMA VP for Regional TV Rikki Escudero. “We chose Cagayan de Oro as it’s the trade and business hub of the region and strategically located to reach 1.4 million TV households to help widen our station’s reach in Mindanao.”

Elvis Ancheta, VP for Transmission Regional Engineering Dept, says: “GMA invested P70 million in building the well designed state of the art studios, technical operations center, satellite multi-link microwave system and electronic news gathering equipment. We’ll be known as Channel 35 Cagayan de Oro, Channel 5 Ozamis, Channel 3 Pagadian, Channel 12 Bukidnon and Channel 4 Dipolog, reaching Camiguin, the Lanao, Cotabato, Agusan, Surigao provinces up to Maguindanao and parts of Southern Bohol.”

Rikki started with GMA as program manager of “Unang Hirit”. She has since launched other originating GMA stations in Dagupan, Ilocos, Bicol, GenSan, Iloilo and Bacolod. She’s 40 and has a three year old child who she leaves with her partner in Manila as she does a lot of travelling in various parts of the country as regional chief.

To help attract more local viewers, GMA Northern Mindanao will have its own newscast “Testigo Northern Mindanao” as part of it’s late afternoon primetime block in between Barbie Forteza’s “Paroa” and Heart Evangelista’s“Forever”. They’ll transmit exclusive news from Mindanao to Manila directly. All their local talents and personnel were introduced, from cameramen and news writers (headed by AVP for News Celerina Amores) to the operations manager, sales and marketing people (headed by Sales AVP Oliver Amoroso), all hired from Cagayan de Oro.

GMA Chair and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon says GMA Northern Mindano is part of the Kapuso network’s aim to reach more viewers nationwide. “This is part of our responsibility to our viewers,” he adds. “We want to bring Serbisyong Totoo to them via the Kapuso brand of unbiased news reporting and quality entertainment they surely deserve.”