How GMA became No. 1

"Good management spells the difference between success and failure."


There is always that mistaken impression that Lopez-owned ABS-CBN was the most influential media network before it was ordered shut down by the National Telecommunications Commission.

This is farthest from the truth! Long before this Lopez controversy came about, it was its rival, GMA Network, that was ranking first.

The reason why GMA is No. 1 is one for the books. After the triumvirate of Felipe Gozon, his brother in law Menardo Jimenez and the late Gualberto Duavit bought the Republic Broadcasting System from the American Bob Stewart, everything changed for the network. This is how good management can spell the difference between success and failure for any corporation. This became especially true when Gozon became chairman and chief executive officer.

First, Gozon changed the network’ logo and identity and made a “Kapuso” network. He started the news and public affairs department by hiring top anchor people. This was to compete with the big guns of ABS-CBN

Next, Gozon revamped the entire entertainment programming of the network, with homegrown teleseryes.

All these bore fruit such that a reputable rating firm, Nielsen, said GMA was fast catching up with ABS-CBN in the ratings game.

The management style of Gozon is a surprise. He gives premium to people who stick with GMA. Jessica Soho and Mike Enriquez are perfect examples.

Gozon also changed people on the executive levels. Soon enough, GMA was able to overtake ABS-CBN. Despite claims of the latter that it was first, GMA is truly No. 1.

* * *

Speaking of Henry, I have always wondered where he got that nickname when his real name is Felipe. I got the answer from Gozon himself, when he told me that when he was growing up in Malabon, he was fond of swimming in the river with his barkada. One day, when diving, he hurt his head. His parents had to shave his hair so the doctor could put medicine on it. His friends soon started calling him “Henry” after a lovable—and bald—cartoon character.

* * *

The debacle of ABS-CBN, according to the latest findings of the stock market, the company reported a net loss of P7.3 billion during the nine-month period, while GMA ended with a consolidated profit of P3.91 billion.

Advertising was actually the lifeblood of a network.

GMA also reported a four percent year-on-year increase in consolidated revenue during the nine-month period to P12.66 billion. Advertising revenue was up 2 percent.

It is clear that under the present circumstances, GMA Network not only remains the biggest and most profitable network, my gulay!

I asked Henry how he managed to do all this. His answer: “Common sense.” This is why he often says that education is often in the way of managing a corporation.

Congratulations, Henry.

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The Department of Health has come out with a warning that we should not expect the availability of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Reports say that 3 million Filipinos will be given the vaccine next year and another 22 million in 2022.

Just when the virus will truly be contained, I don’t know.

Topics: Emil Jurado , ABS-CBN , GMA Network , National Telecommunications Commission
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