THERE isn’t any better way to describe it. It is all about passion and taking action. When asked how they were able to win the ratings game, the hardworking men and women of GMA Regional will tell you that the formula is simple—when people love what they do, strength through community happens.
At the recent media partners’ appreciation event held at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, GMA Regional TV’s afternoon news program, “Balitang Bisdak” proved how it has stood strong, reaping awards and gaining recognition amidst changes in the media landscape.
Asked about the secret to the program’s longevity and staying power, “Balitang Bisdak” anchor and tri-media personality Bobby Nalzaro was straightforward.
“Let’s be frank and honest, in our profession all of it is mainly a business endeavor. Negosyo man ni atoang gisudlan. This aside from the objective of educating, informing, and entertaining the viewing public. We were able to sustain our program for the past 19 years because of the support of the advertisers. The management can’t support and sustain a losing program and immediately it will be axed. If dili ka mo rate putol gyud ka,” Nalzaro said.
Featuring comprehensive and in-depth delivery of news and information on Cebu and key cities and provinces in Central and Eastern Visayas, the local newscast is proud of having a formidable set of anchors: Nalzaro, award-winning local news correspondent Alan Domingo and news presenter Cecille Quibod-Castro.
Also in the team are various local news teams based in Cebu and local news stringers from different parts of Central and Eastern Visayas.
Stressing that the news program is also particular with their content, Program Manager Suzanne Salva-Alueta enthused, “Because if ang viewers wala’y salig sa program, the advertisers will not invest or trust to put their money in the program.”
Salva added that the station is driven by its passion despite of the challenging coverages.
“Our field reporters they are the best of both worlds because basically they are multi-taskers. We are so proud with our Naga coverage because we only have one reporter who did that coverage, Lou Anne Mae Rondina. She can gather three to four stories on her own didto versus two to three counterparts. Our reporters are good multi-taskers na despite nay competition from other networks you have to do your best, so the best that you’d do is to determine which story should be prioritized,” she said.
Lou Anne Mae Rondina was recently awarded Best Field Reporter at the Gandingan 2018 Multi-media Awards given by the University of the Philippines Los Banos’ (UPLB) Up Community Broadcasters’ Society, Inc.
Recent Nielsen TV Audience Measurement ratings shows “Balitang Bisdak” winning over the local competition by 1.1%.
Adding to this is from the recently held 40th Catholic Mass Media Awards from which “Balitang Bisdak” received a Special Citation for Best News
Program for the comprehensive coverage of the burial of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
Oli Amoroso, GMA Regional TV Vice-President and Head, shared that he is still in awe of the landmark registered eight weekly and 47-episodic wins of “Balitang Bisdak.”
“Actually it all boils down to teamwork. Once the leader lays down the vision then all the teams should follow in order for us to meet the target. I am very lucky and blessed to have a team like here in the Central Visayas who’ve been very committed and passionate with what they do and that we were able to meet our targets. You got to start small and eventually it goes big and
andito na, eto na tayo ngayon,” he said.
Amoroso also shared his excitement over what the station has in store for its viewers next year.
“What we are looking forward to are more activities here in Cebu which is not only for entertainment, but to further strengthen our news and public affairs here. Also we would be doing more community activities and we will be embarking next year with our Kapuso Campus Tour which would focus on the Masterclass Series na magpapadala kami ng mga professionals from TV, online, and radio and from there will be able to share their expertise to students. It’s the next thing in paying it forward and we are looking at 2019 as a year for paying it forward,” he said.
With the tagline, “Balitang Bisdak, bugtong kasaligan, kasandigan ug kadangpan sa mga Bisaya (Balitang Bisdak, the most trusted, dependable and reliable newscast in Bisaya), and bouyed by the “Local News Matters” campaign, the news program also features innovative segments to further engage, inform, and entertain its viewers in Central and Eastern Visayas. These segments include GMA Regional TV Presents, the hugely popular “Sa Maaan,” “Bisdak Laagan Society,” “Lami Syah,” “Lahi Ra,” “Manlaag Ta,” “Balitang Barangay,” “Kapuso Serbisyo,” “Pistang Bisdak,” and “Batang Bisdak.”